Multiple Eastern athletes flirt with Big Sky Standards at OSU High Performance Meet
Competing in Corvallis, Oregon, for the first time ever, the Eastern Washington University track and field teams put together various seasonal-best performances and seven Eagles came close to meeting Big Sky Conference standards at the Oregon State High Performance Meet at Whyte Track & Field Center on Thursday and Friday (May 1-2).
"The OSU High Performance Meet was a success for our team," said head men's coach Stan Kerr. "I felt our coaches had the team in a state of mind that showed our readiness for the upcoming conference championships."
The hammer throws were contested Thursday at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon. Jordan Arakawa won the hammer with a toss of 210-4. Zack Nielsen was fifth (197-6) and Shaun Lemafa finished ninth (171-9, seasonal best). It was Arakawa’s fifth win in the hammer this season and also the fifth time he has eclipsed 210 feet.
Olivia Midles (189-2), Kelsie Forcier (181-0) and Emma Murillo (179-0) went one-two-three in the women’s hammer for the Eagles.
Friday in Corvallis, Murillo uncorked a huge personal best of 159-11 in the discus, placing second overall. That mark vaults Murillo to the No. 2 spot all-time at Eastern, now only trailing school-record holder Carolee Gutierrez (160-9, 2007). Forcier was fourth in the discus with a personal best of 157-6, moving the freshman to fourth in school history.
In the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, Catie Arrigoni (10:20.75) and Paula Gil-Echevarria (10:29.03) each ran new personal-best times, placing second and third overall. Those times continue to rank second and third behind school-record holder Katie Mahoney (10:17.34), and will likely put the trio in strong position on the Big Sky performance list, pending results from around the conference this weekend. Freshman Gil-Echevarria also met a Team Spain qualifying standard for the World Junior Championships this summer.
Senior Steven Warner won the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.54, setting a new facility and meet record.
Sarah Reiter ran a personal best of 16:49.63 in the 5,000 invite section, placing fourth and becoming just the fifth Eagle in school history to break 17 minutes outdoors. The Montana State transfer moved up a spot on the top ten list, now ranking fifth all-time at Eastern. Berenice Penaloza finished 10th in the invite 5K, running 17:27.66.
In the shot put, Jon Buchanan finished fourth with a throw of 55-4 3/4. Freshman Aaron Cunningham was eighth with a seasonal-best toss of 51-2 3/4, just a few inches off the Big Sky standard of 51-6 1/4. Morgan Romey was third in the women’s shot with a mark of 46-11 3/4.
In the 400, Brad Michael placed third in a close finish, running 48.24. In the women’s race, Angelica Rodriguez (57.06) finished second and Brooke Monson (57.54) was fourth.
Senior Whitney Leavitt ran a seasonal-best time of 25.00 in the 200, placing fourth and just missing the Big Sky mark of 24.80. Freshman Austin Upmeyer also came close to qualifying in the men’s 200, running 22.25 (Big Sky standard: 22.10).
The women’s 4x100 relay of Leavitt, Paige Hammock, Monson and Erika Lombardo ran a time of 47.44, placing second.
Nielsen was fourth in the discus with a throw of 160-7. Freshmen Cunningham (156-10) and Evan Banchero (156-4) each had personal-best throws to move closer to the conference standard of 157-5.
Brooklyn Bellomy cleared the bar at 5-3 in the high jump, tying a personal best. The sophomore is just two inches from the Big Sky standard of 5-5.
Eastern has 43 conference qualifying marks on the season, with 29 for the women and 14 for the men. The Big Sky Outdoor Championships are less than two weeks away on May 14-17 in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The Eagles will have one last chance to meet standards or move up the Big Sky performance lists next weekend at the Vandal Jamboree on May 9 in Moscow, Idaho.
"Our growing list of seasonal and lifetime bests in all four event areas, the jumps, throws, distance, and sprints/hurdles, showed a strong sense of determination as a team," said Kerr. "Only one meet now stands between us and the conference championships. The meet is the Vandal Jamboree which will be a last opportunity to qualify for the conference meet in Flagstaff."