Large number of Eagles hit improving marks as they get ready to head to the Big Sky Conference Championships
The Eastern Washington University men’s and women’s track and field teams came away with two more qualifiers at their last-chance meet, the Vandal Collegiate, in Moscow, Idaho, on Saturday (Feb. 18).
Elise Jepsen and Amber Troyer qualified in the high jump and pole vault, respectively. Jepsen hit a mark of 5-04 1/4. Troyer hit her qualifying jump at a height of 11-11 3/4, helping the Eagles finish 1-2-3 in the pole vault. Keisa Monterola finished first (13-11 1/4) and Robin Taylor finished third (11-11 3/4).
“Amber Troyer has made great strides this year,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr. “She’s put a lot of effort in this entire season and punched her ticket today. She’s earned it.
“I thought it was a solid effort from an individual standpoint, which is what our goal was. We wanted a lot of individuals to improve on their marks before conference next week.”
The next meet will be the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 24-25) in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Many athletes improved on their marks, including Brad Michael in the 200 – for the third week in a row – with a time of 22.09. Shene Davis (long jump, 18-07 1/2), Richelle Stewart (weight throw, 41-10), Michelle Coombs (60m hurdles, 9.43), Cody Humphrey (shot put, 49-10 1/2), Jon Buchanan (weight throw, 53-06 3/4), Phillip Puccino (long jump, 21-11 3/4) and Tim Armstrong (60m hurdles, 8.71) all improved their chances of making the top 12 in conference.
The men’s 4x4 team, which consists of Michael, Brad Wall, Michael Okoro and Collin Green, improved on their time by nearly three seconds, finishing in 3:15.30. They now rank second in the Big Sky heading to Flagstaff.
The Eagles are now set to prepare for the conference championships for the rest of the week.
“I’m really looking forward to our kids to perform well and hit personal records at conference,” said women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “This is the meet that we have been looking forward to the entire season. It’s time for our athletes to give their best performance. I expect them to do just that and give their hearts out.”
Men’s Big Sky Conference Championship Qualifiers
Michael Okoro – 55-meter dash – 6.48
Steven Warner – 55-meter hurdles – 7.72
Steven Warner – 60-meter hurdles – 8.28
Michael Okoro – 200-meter run – 21.90
Michael Okoro – 400-meter run – 48.52
Brad Wall – 400-meter run – 47.72
Brad Michael – 400-meter run – 49.03
Tim Pettit – 800-meter run – 1:52.93
Jordan Curnutt – 800-meter run – 1:53.13
Bowe Ebding – 3,000-meter run – 8:31.06
Graham Vaux – 3,000-meter run – 8:26.33
Kyle King – 1-mile – 4:12.2
Cody Fishel – high jump – 6-08
Zach Nielsen – weight throw – 56-10 3/4
Jordan Arakawa – weight throw – 58-3 1/4
Marlyn Anderson – shot put – 51-9
Marlyn Anderson – weight throw – 52-4 1/2
Jon Buchanan – shot put – 53-6 3/4
Kersee Lind – heptathlon – 5,198
Kersee Lind – pole vault – 14-09
Kersee Lind – high jump – 6-05
Women’s Big Sky Conference Championship Qualifiers
Shene Davis – triple jump – 37-09 1/2
Shene Davis – long jump – 18-7 1/2
Morena Mannucci – triple jump – 38-0
Elise Jepsen - high jump – 5-04 1/4
Keisa Monterola – pole vault – 14-4
Robin Taylor – pole vault – 12-06 ¼
Amber Troyer – pole vault – 11-11 3/4
Olivia Midles – weight throw – 52-07 1/2
Emma Murillo – weight throw – 52-07 1/4
Berenice Penaloza – 5,000-meter – 18:08.99
Notes on Keisa Monterola
Junior Keisa Monterola broke the Big Sky Conference indoor record for the women’s pole vault, with a jump of 14-4 on Jan. 28 at the UW Team Invitational in Seattle, Wash. The jump automatically qualified her for the NCAA Championships on Mar. 9 in Boise, Idaho.
Along with breaking the conference record, Monterola improved on her EWU school record and the indoor Venezuelan record. The Clackamas Community College transfer is now just a heartbeat away from the Olympic B-standard of 14-5 1/4.
Monterola made her Eastern debut on Dec. 3 at the Candy Cane Invitational. On her first jump, she broke Eastern’s pole vault record with a height of 13-11 1/4. She has also been named the Big Sky women’s Field Athlete of the Week three separate times.
Monterola is also the owner of the Venezuelan national record. She has competed for her country on numerous occasions, including the Pan American Games this past fall. She placed fifth with a mark of 14-1 1/4.
Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, 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.