Eastern Track Adds Venezuelan National Record-Holder to 2011-12 Roster

Monterola highlights talented class of incoming track and field athletes

The Eastern Washington University track and field team will feature a handful of talented newcomers for the 2011-12 school year. Among the new athletes is the Venezuelan national record-holder in the pole vault, Keisa Monterola, and well-rounded heptathlete Katrina Chamberlain. The other signees are recruits from the state of Washington, with one coming from Nevada.

Keisa Monterola - Pole Vault - TR - Caracus, Venezuela (Licro Caracas HS ’06 & Clackamas Community College)
Originally from Caracus, Venezuela, Keisa Monterola placed first in the pole vault at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Championships while competing for Clackamas Community College. She had a personal-best vault of 14-2 1/2 – a mark that improved the sophomore’s Venezuelan national record. She also placed first in the long jump with a mark of 18-0 1/2. Monterola also claimed titles at the 2009 NWAACC Championships in the pole vault (12-8 1/4) and the long jump (17-8 1/4). While utilizing her redshirt season in 2010, Monterola won the gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games, where she set the games record with a mark of 13-9 1/4. In high school, Monterola was the 2005 IAAF World Youth silver medalist and South American Junior Champion. She cleared 13-11 1/4 in both competitions, setting new meet records in both.

Katrina Chamberlain - Multi/Jumps - HS - La Center, Wash. (La Center HS ’11)
Specializing in an array of events, Katrina Chamberlain hopes to pursue a career in the heptathlon at Eastern. The La Center, Wash., native was a two-time high jump champion at the State 1A Championships in 2009 and 2011. She was the Tri-County League champion in the event all four years of high school. Chamberlain was the 2011 district champion in the 100-meter hurdles, going on to take fourth at the state championships. Chamblerlain holds school records in the high jump (5-6), shot put (39-2 1/2), 100 hurdles (15.95) and heptathlon (4,231 points).  She placed third at the state meet in the shot put in 2008 and 2009, and placed second in the heptathlon at the Washington State Multi Events Championships in 2009. Chamberlain was a participant in the USA Junior National Championships in 2009, competing in the heptathlon.

Berenice Penaloza - Distance - HS - Yakima, Wash. (Eisenhower HS ’11)
As a junior, Berenice Penaloza placed tenth in the 4A State Championships in the 3,200 meter with a time of 11:06.35 seconds. The Yakima, Wash., native improved on her time the following season at the Arcadia Invitational by posting 11:03.94 time which is her personal best. In the 2009 cross country season, Penaloza was selected as the Columbia Basin Big Nine Runner of the Year. She placed 12th and 15th, respectively, in the 2010 and 2011 4A State Cross Country Championships, helping Eisenhower win the title in 2011.

Katie Mahoney  - Distance - HS - Richland, Wash. (Richland HS ’11)
Katie Mahoney experienced a stellar 2011 season at Richland High School. In every Columbia Basin Big Nine meet she finished in either first or second. In Richland’s seven other meets, Mahoney finished in at least the top three, including at the 4A district track meet. Her top-three streak was broken at the 4A State Championships, where she finished fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 10:58.11.

Morgan Romey - Throws - HS - Mica, Wash. (Freeman HS ’11)
Morgan Romey placed second at the State 1A Championships in both the shot put and the discus throw with lifetime-best marks of 41-9 1/2 and 138-10, respectively.  The Mica, Wash., native is the school record-holder in the shot put and the discus at Freeman High School, where she was a four-year letter winner in track and field.  She also holds the Riverside Invitational meet record in the discus (136-5). As a junior, Romey was awarded Most Valuable Field Athlete by the Northeast Conference and was also named Most Outstanding Athlete by her teammates. Romey spent two seasons as the team captain and was ASB Historian her senior year.

Max Pratt - Throws  - HS - Auburn, Wash. (Auburn HS ’11)
The Auburn High School javelin record-holder, Max Pratt placed fifth at the State 4A Championships in the event with a mark of 192-6. His best mark is 199-5, which was set at the Federal Way/Auburn dual meet in 2011. Pratt was the South Puget Sound League (SPSL) Champion in the javelin and placed third at the district meet. The three-time letter winner in track and field won Auburn’s HS Rookie of the Year award in 2009. Pratt was also a three-year letter winner in football, helping the Tigers advance to the State 4A quarterfinals in 2010. He served as the team captain during the 2010 season and was the starting quarterback and free safety his senior year. Pratt was named second-team All-SPSL North Division as a defensive back.

Brad Michael - Sprints - HS - Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS ’11)
Named men’s track athlete of the year  in 2010-11 from the Greater St. Helens League (GSHL), Brad Michael placed second in the 400-meter dash at the state 4A championships with a time of 48.45 seconds. He also placed sixth in the 200 meters with a time of 22.04. He dominated the GSHL Championships as a senior, winning the 200 and 400 meters and placing second in the 100. The Vancouver, Wash., native broke school records his senior year in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. He is also listed eighth all-time at Skyview for the 800-meter dash.

Nick Stearns - Hurdles/Pole Vault - HS - Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS ’11)
Nick Stearns ended his high school career at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association 4A State Championships, where he had a personal-record time of 14.77 in the 110-meter hurdles to win the event. In the same meet, Stearns finished in a first-place tie in the pole vault with a jump of 15-6. The Pahrump, Nev., native was named to Nevada’s Academic All-State team. Stearns also ran a 40.85 in the 300-meter hurdles, a personal best, in 2011. He plans to major in biochemistry.

Justin Graff - Javelin - TR - Spokane, Wash. (Mead HS ’09 & University of Montana)
Justin Graff, who attended Mead High School in Spokane, Wash., has made the decision to transfer from the University of Montana to Eastern.  At the 2011 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships, Graff finished fifth in the javelin throw with a mark of 209-5. As a transfer, he will not be eligible to participate until 2012-13 season.

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