May 27, 2008
Mattie Bridgmon and Paul Limpf compete this weekend in the 5,000 meters as the Eastern Washington University track and field teams head to Northridge, Calif., for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) West Regionals May 30-31.
To qualify for the NCAA West Regionals Championships, Limpf, Bridgmon, Aaron Mettler, Amanda Peterson, Nicole Luckenbach, John Clevenger, and Camille Moseley met the qualifying standards for their respective events at previous meets in the outdoor season. Cameron Moore, Erika Kirley-Price and Bonnie Millard earned automatic berths to regionals by placing first in their events at the Big Sky Conference Championships.
Bridgmon and Limpf are Eastern's highest-ranked competitors in the meet, with Bridgmon entering with the fifth-best time among women's competitors in the 5,000 and Limpf ranking 11th for the men. The top five regional finishers advance to the NCAA Championships on June 11-14.
Of the 10 entrants from Eastern, Millard is the only Eagle with previous experience at the regional level.
"I think this is a very exciting time for these four individuals," said head men's coach Stan Kerr of the four men's entrants. "All four represent different events and all four of them return to next year's squad. The experience from this will really spread amongst the team as they hear the stories and the level of competition these four guys experience in their different events."
"We are really excited about going to the regional championships," said head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg of the six women's entrants. "It is an opportunity for our women to compete. They are a young crew. We only have one returning regional qualifier in Bonnie and it is going to be a new and exciting experience for everybody else. It will be fun to see how they do."
Bridgmon has the fifth-best time among entrants in the 5,000 with a time of 16:33.60 earlier this season when she broke her own school record. She finished second at the BSC Championships with a time of 17:30.10. Bridgmon is coming off of a championship in the 5,000 meters at the BSC Indoor Championships and finished 64th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Moseley has the 12th-best time among entrants in the 5,000 meters after qualifying for regionals at the Oregon Relays. Her time of 16:44.09 ranks second in school history behind Bridgmon.
Millard finished 15th at regionals last year with a toss of 154-10. She currently has the 18th best throw among entrants by successfully defending her discus title with a throw of 152-9. The junior from Priest River, Idaho, had a career-best throw of 155-0 at the 2007 BSC Championships when she won the event.
Kirley-Price, a senior from Kennewick, Wash., won Eastern's first-ever Big Sky title in the women's hammer throw with a toss of 179-1 to qualify her for regionals. Her throw ranks third in school history behind Luckenbach, a sophomore from Mill Creek, Wash. Kirley-Price has the 22nd best throw among entrants with Luckenbach sitting 20th.
Luckenbach was two inches behind Kirley-Price with a throw of 178-11 to finish second at the conference championships. She had already qualified for West Regionals with a throw of 179-6 to rank second all-time at EWU.
In the javelin, Peterson has the 11th best throw among entrants with a toss of 154-5 to rank her sixth in school history at the Al Manuel Invitational. She finished fourth at conference with a throw of 147-7.
On the men's side, Limpf has the 11th-best entry time (14:09.32) in the 5,000 meters. His time ranks him second in school history behind Bob Maplestone's time of 14:09.0 set in 1972.
In the javelin, Mettler and Clevenger are currently 13th and 14th, respectively. Mettler had a throw of 205-6 to win Eastern's sixth Big Sky men's javelin championship -- EWU's fifth title in the last 10 years. The freshman from Walla Walla, Wash., won by an inch over Montana State's Nick Lam. Mettler qualified earlier this season for the West Regionals with a throw of 207-9.
Clevenger had a throw of 207-8 to qualify him for regionals at the Vandal Jamboree. He finished eighth at conference with a toss of 182-3.
By winning the triple jump, Moore won EWU's third Big Sky triple jump title in school history. A junior from Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS `04), his jump of 47-8 1/2 qualified him for regionals. He currently sits 14th among entrants.
To earn an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships to be held in Des Moines, Iowa, an athlete must finish in the top five in their event at regionals. Eastern athletes have advanced to the NCAA Championships a total of 11 times in school history.
Carolee Gutierrez finished eighth in the javelin (161-10) in 2007, Stephanie Ulmer 27th in the javelin (133-4) in 2006, Jordan Baughan finished 19th in the javelin in 2005 and Kari McKay was fourth in the 10,000 (34:56.38) in 1992. On the men's side, David Paul finished 25th in the hammer with a throw of 189-1 in 2007, Alex Moon was 24th in 2006 in the 400 hurdles (52.26), Ryan Cole placed eighth in the javelin (223-3) in 2001 and in 1999 he placed 15th (211-3), Zach Guydish finished 24th in the javelin in 2005, Kurt Kraemer in 2003 finished 15th in the triple jump and Greg Jones took second in the high jump (7-3) back in 1986.