April 15, 2009
Junior Nicole Luckenbach of the Eastern Washington University track and field team has been named Big Sky Conference Field Athlete of the Week for another 180-foot hammer throw performance at the Oregon-Washington Scoring Clash in Spokane, Wash., on April 11.
She is an early favorite to win the league title in that event after it eluded her by two inches last season. Luckenbach will be competing at the Beach Invitational in Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday (April 18).
"I am thrilled Nicole won the Big Sky Athlete of the Week award," said head track and field coach Marcia Mecklenberg. "She has worked hard, and hopefully it will pay off with her winning the hammer throw at the conference championships."
Luckenbach, from Mill Creek, Wash. (Snohomish HS '05), broke her own school record in the hammer with a winning throw of 184-1. Her mark easily leads the conference, with Allison Jones of Montana State ranking second with a mark of 172-0.
At the Stanford Invitational on May 28, Luckenbach qualified for the NCAA West Regionals and Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships with a throw of 182-10 that broke Julie Nielson’s record of 182-8 set in 2001.
Luckenbach finished second at the 2008 BSC Outdoor Championships with a throw of 178-11 -- just two inches behind teammate Erica Kirley-Price. Luckenbach went on to finish 20th at the regional championships. At the 2009 BSC Indoor Championships, she finished fourth in the weight throw with a mark of 57-5 3/4
"She was second last year to Erica," added Mecklenberg. "Nicole wanted to win the weight throw indoors earlier this season and missed that chance too. So she is hungry to win a title this season."