Pair of Big Sky Champions honored by Eastern Athletic Department
Senior Erica Chaney of the Eastern Washington University women’s track and field team and freshman Michael Okoro from the men’s squad received the final monthly scholar-athlete honors handed out for the 2010-11 school year, announced Friday (June 3) by the EWU Athletic Department.
This award recognizes the athletic and academic success of student-athletes, based primarily on performances turned in during the month prior.
Chaney, a 2006 graduate of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, Wash., is preparing to graduate June 11 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has maintained a 3.12 cumulative grade point average throughout her four years at Eastern. Okoro, a product of Clover Park High School in Lakewood, Wash., has a 3.0 GPA in his first year in Cheney.
In addition to their academic achievements, both student-athletes took home Big Sky Conference titles from the 2011 Outdoor Track and Field Championships May 13-14 in Sacramento, Calif.
More on Chaney
After setting two school records and capturing three Big Sky titles throughout the year, Chaney recently received the award for Female Athlete of the Year at the third annual “EeeWoos” - a formal awards gala put on each year by the athletic department.
Highlighting Chaney’s senior campaign were her performances at the 2011 Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Chaney won the title in both the shot put and discus throw, while her winning toss of 51-0 3/4 in the shot set a new school record. Chaney was also able to defend her 2010 discus title when she recorded a winning mark of 155-4 on her very first trip to the ring. She compiled a team-leading 16 points for the Eagles, which helped the women’s squad to a best-ever third place at the outdoor championships.
In her career, the Spokane native tallied eight total All-Big Sky accolades for EWU.
More on Okoro
Ranked eighth in the event heading into the championships, Okoro shocked the competition with a remarkable victory in the 200 meters. He ran a winning time of 21.38 to claim the first Big Sky title of his career. He had advanced to the finals of the event after running a time of 21.21 in the preliminaries, which ranks as the fifth-fastest 200-time in school history.
He also scored points for the Eags in the 100 meters, as he placed fourth with a time of 10.72 -- 10th-best in school history.
He later joined Brad Wall, Alex Flores and Kurt Williams in the 4x100-meter relay. The quartet placed second in the event and broke a 28-year-old school record with a time of 40.46. Okoro capped off the championships by running a leg on the men’s 4x400 relay team, which recorded the sixth-fastest time in school history of 3:13.73.
Between his individual and relay events, Okoro contributed 29 points to help the men’s team to a best-ever fourth-place finish at the Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field Championships.