Eagles find success at both Spokane and Stanford, as five more athletes qualify for conference championships
In his final year as an Eastern Washington University Eagle, Kyle King wanted to leave his mark.
With his 14:10.02 time in the 5,000-meter run Saturday (April 7) at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., King completely shattered his own outdoor personal record by 25 seconds, moving him into third all-time in Eastern history.
Only six Eagles flew down to Stanford, as the remainder of the team stayed back in Spokane to participate in the WAOR V at the Community Colleges of Spokane. But for those who stayed back, they were treated with five more qualifiers for the Big Sky Conference Championships on May 11-12 in Bozeman, Mont.
“We really enjoyed going to Stanford,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr. “We took our higher caliber athletes to get them better competition. We really like exposing our athletes to that kind of competition.”
Steven Warner, Michelle Coombs and Zach Nielsen each had fantastic performances at Stanford in their respective events by placing in the top ten.
Nielsen placed second in the hammer throw with a season-best distance of 175-6.
“Zach was very excited when he placed second,” said Kerr. “He feels like he had great warm ups. He said that his training has helped him start clicking in season.”
Warner placed sixth in the 110 hurdles by running a 14.62. Coombs finished in fourth place in the women’s javelin with a mark of 150-2.
Nicole Nida had a great showing in Spokane, as she placed first in the 200 with a time of 25.20, giving her a spot at conference.
“It was nice for Nicole to qualify,” said women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “But I think it meant more for her to win. It was really nice for her.”
Other athletes who qualified were Jaime Alnassim (170-7, hammer throw), Elise Jepsen (5-3 3/4, high jump), Tim Armstrong (15.01, 110 hurdles) and Armon Blackwell (55.08, 400 hurdles). Blackwell and Jepsen placed second and third in their events, respectively.
Robin Taylor broke her personal record in the pole vault by winning the event with a height of 12-5 1/2, which places her fourth in Eastern history.
“Robin has already qualified for conference, but her mark today was arguably the best performance we saw from our team,” said Mecklenburg.
Eastern returns to action on Thursday (April 12) as they stay home in Spokane for the Whitworth Twilight.
“I really enjoyed the WAOR 5,” said Mecklenburg. “The weather was good again, and it helps the athletes. I feel like they’ve been competing very hard … they’re all improving each day.”