State’s Leading Pole Vaulter and Three-Time Defending 1A Champion Joins Eagles
Ranked sixth nationally, Lakeside’s Anandae Clark is among the eight athletes who will join the EWU Track and Field program next fall
Lakeside High School senior Anandae Clark, the State’s top-ranked pole vaulter and ranked sixth in the nation, is among eight athletes set to attend Eastern Washington University and compete for the EWU Track and Field squad next year.
The other athletes signed include four others from the State of Washington: Jake Clizbe from Kalama HS, Nicholas Boersma from Wenatchee HS, Leiran Cornish from Snohomish HS and Alexia Martin from Kent-Meridian HS. The others signed include Alyssa Neal from North Salem (Ore.) HS, Sierra Arlauskas from Beaverton (Ore.) and Jesuit HS and David Thor from Wichita, Kan.
“We recruit people who we feel will help us win a Big Sky Championship,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr. “From top to bottom, each individual we signed is a not only a performer on the track, but one in the classroom as well. They bring a character of personality to the team that blends in perfectly with the culture we have established.”
Clark, the three-time defending State 1A champion in the pole vault, owns the best mark among competitors in all classifications in Washington with a 13-0 effort on April 14 at the Pasco Invitational. Her mark ranks her sixth nationally, just six inches from the lead.
The local product from Nine Mile Falls, Wash., will be going for her fourth-straight title this week at EWU in the State 1B, 2B, 1A Championships hosted at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash. She won last year’s title with a 1A meet record vault of 11-6, as a sophomore won with an effort of 10-6 and was victorious as a freshman with a jump of 10-9. The 1A pole vault is scheduled to begin Saturday (May 26) at 12:30 p.m.
“Clark is one of the best recruits that our program has ever signed,” said women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “It says something about where our vault program is headed and what our vault coach, Eric Allison, has done. It’ll be great having Anandae next to Keisa.”
Next year, one of Clark’s teammates will be Keisa Monterola, who earned first team All-America honors after placing fifth in the pole vault in March at the NCAA Division I Track and Field Indoor Championships. She had a season-best vault of 14-4 to break the Big Sky Conference all-time record. The Venezuelan won Big Sky indoor and outdoor titles, and continues to chase the Olympic Provisional Standard, a mark she’s been vying for all season, of 14-5 1/4.
Clizbe will also compete in Cheney this week as he looks for his first 1A long jump title after two-straight runner-up finishes. His leap of 22-11 1/2 earlier this season ranks No. 1 among 1A competitors and is fifth overall in Washington. He will also compete in the triple jump, high jump and 100. Clizbe was also named to the Associated Press All-State 1A football team as a running back.
Boersma is the top-ranked 800-meter runner in 4A with a time of 1:51.78, which is two seconds faster than the next-best runner. He placed third in the 800 at last year’s State Championship, and will attempt to win the title this week at Star Track in Tacoma. He will also compete in the 400, the 4x100 relay and the 4x400 relay.
Also competing in Tacoma this week will be Cornish, who is ranked second in 4A in the 400 (57.34) and eighth in the 200 (25.70). Her career-best time in the 400 of 56.78 earned her a state appearance last season, where she placed seventh.
Thor was the 2011 5A state champion in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs with times of 4:21.65 and 9:37.85, respectively. He also won back-to-back (2011-2012) titles in cross country in the 5,000.
“Overall, we have a ton of really, really good athletes coming in,” said jumps coach Jon Hill. “A high percentage of these athletes had an option to get a scholarship in another sport.”
“With the talent these athletes are bringing in, there won’t be too much of a transition period from high school to the NCAA,” Mecklenburg added. “Each and everyone of them will be ready to contribute something as soon as they step foot on campus.”
HS Nine Mile Falls,
Wash./Lakeside HS ‘12
Clark was the State 1A champion in the pole vault from her freshman to junior seasons. Her best mark in the state championships was in 2011 as a junior when she hit 11-6, a state record at the time, and won the event by two feet. Currently, Clark owns the state record in the pole vault with a jump of 13-0, which she hit April 14 at the Pasco Invitational.
HS Kalama, Wash./Kalama HS
Two years in a row, as a sophomore and junior, Clizbe placed second in the long jump at the State 1A meet. Currently he holds the top spot amongst long jumpers in Washington with a jump of 22-11 1/2 he hit on April 10. In high school, Clizbe was named to the 1A All-State football team as a running back.
HS Wenatchee, Wash./Wenatchee
Boersma is the top-ranked 800-meter runner in 4A. His time of 1:51.78, which he ran at the Viking Classic Invitational on April 21, is two seconds quicker than second place. As a junior he placed third in the State 4A championships with a time of 1:55.66, less than a second off of the winning time.
HS Snohomish, Wash./Snohomish
Cornish has a career-best time of 56.78 in the 400-meter run, which she hit as a junior. At the 2011 State 4A Championships, she placed eighth. She also competes in the 200, where she hit her best time as senior at the 4A District Championships in a time of 25.70.
Wash./Kent Meridian HS ‘12
Martin is a do-it-all runner who competed in seven different running events in her high school career. During her senior season, she had a new best in the 400, as she ran a time of 63.54 at the Sentinal Classic on April 28.
HS Salem, Ore./North Salem HS
Neal had an outstanding career at North Salem, as she competed in sprint, hurdle and jump events. Her career-best marks in the high jump (5-5), long jump (18-2) and triple jump (38-2 3/4) are all on par with the current Eagle roster. As a junior, she placed third in both the long jump (17-8 3/4) and triple jump (38-2 3/4) at the OSAA 6A State Championships.
HS Portland, Ore./Jesuit HS
Arlauskas is a multi-talented athlete who specialized in sprints, hurdles and jumps in her school. As a junior, she placed fifth in the triple jump with a mark of 36-5 3/4. Her career-best time in the 200-meter run of 26.15 was set as a senior.
HS Wichita, Kan./Bishop Carroll
As a junior, Thor won the KSHSAA 5A State Track Championship in both the 1,600 (4:21.65) and 3,200 (9:37.85). As a sophomore he placed second at the same state championship meet in the 800 with a time of 1:55.37. He also placed third in the 1,600 (4:23.69). Thor also won back-to-back state titles in the 5,000-meter State 5A Cross Country Championships.