Eagles Meet Five Big Sky Standards, Win 17 Events in Spokane

Eastern sweeps six events and posts several all-time and seasonal bests at the Sam Adams Classic

Competing close to home in Spokane, Wash., the Eastern Washington University track and field team grabbed five Big Sky qualifying marks and won 17 events at the Sam Adams Classic on Saturday (April 4) at the Whitworth Pine Bowl.

Brooke Monson ran a lifetime best in the 400 of 56.34 to win the event and rank third all-time at Eastern. Janessa Day finished behind her with a personal best of 56.99 to rank eighth all-time – her previous personal best was 59.04. The duo just missed the Big Sky standard of 56.00.

"Today's meet turned out to be a great day for the sprinters, they had a heyday," said head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "Brooke and Janessa had a great race. Anytime you can get under 57 seconds in the 400, you're doing great. I am very pleased."

Leiran Cornish and Erika Lombardo finished third and fourth in the 400, clocking times of 57.19 and 57.75, respectively.

"Leiran and Erika running sub-58 second 400's really sets us up for a great mile relay," Mecklenburg said.

Phil Puccino leaped to victories in the long jump and triple jump. The senior's personal best mark in the long jump of 22-11 3/4 qualified him for his third event at the Big Sky Conference Championships. He also posted a personal best in the triple jump of 48-5 1/4. Puccino hit qualifying marks in the high jump (6-8 3/4) and the triple jump at last week's competition in Missoula, Mont.

"I am very pleased with Phil," said Mecklenburg. "It's tough to qualify for one event, and he's qualified for three. That is impressive, so kudos to Phil."

Four out of five of Eastern's qualifying marks came in the throwing events. On the women's side, Morgan Romey qualified in the shot put with a mark of 47-0 1/4. Kaytlyn Coleman threw the hammer a distance of 178-10 to punch her ticket to the conference meet and place second overall. Olivia Midles won the hammer with a mark of 180-2.

Cody Humphrey stood out for Eastern in the men's throwing events by grabbing his second qualifying mark of the season in the discus. Humphrey posted victories in the discus (159-9) and the shot put (52-1 1/4).

"Cody had a great throw in the discus," said Mecklenburg. "Morgan's mark in the shot put puts her back in there. She has been struggling, but she came through today and I am very pleased."

Joey Payne also qualified in the javelin with a personal best toss of 190-8.

The women's sprint crew also swept the 200, led by freshman Rebecca Tarbert who finished first with a time of 25.20. Lombardo crossed the finish line in 25.24, followed by Brooke Monson in 25.61. Tarbert also won the 100 for the third meet in a row with a time of 12.28.

"Rebecca is off to a great start for a freshman. I am very pleased with our women's sprint crew today," said Mecklenburg.

Eastern also swept the triple jump for the second week in a row. Morena Mannucci leapt 38-9 1/2 to finish first, followed by Dominique Butler (37-3 1/4) and Megan Murphy (36-6 1/2). Mannucci also won the long jump with a mark of 17-11 3/4.

"Morena had a great mark in the long jump for her main event being the triple jump," Mecklenburg said.

Tierra White had a mark of 5-3 to win the high jump for her third meet in a row. Brooklyn Bellomy and Michelle Weeks placed second and third, respectively, each clearing the bar at 5-1.  

Nick Stearns cleared the pole vault bar at 16-0 3/4 to win the event. Chase Davis finished second with a mark of 15-7, closing in on the Big Sky mark of 15-9.

"It was great to see Nick clear the bar today, and Chase has been doing very well since the indoor season," Mecklenburg said.

Blair Bomber had a great day in the sprints, finishing second in the 200 and 400 with personal best times of 22.34 and 49.21, respectively.

Other event winners on the men's side include, Obinna Nnadi (100, 11.09), Austin Upmeyer (200, 21.93), Aaron Brenton (Steeplechase, 9:44.26), and Jordan Arakawa (Hammer throw, 198-2).

The Eagles also attained nine new qualifying marks at the Stanford Invitational and the San Francisco Distance Carnival on Friday (April 3) to bring the weekend total to 14 qualifying marks.

Eastern now has 12 women and seven men combined for 25 total marks on the season. The 2015 Big Sky Outdoor Conference Championships will be hosted by Eastern on May 13-16 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.

The Eagles will be back home next weekend for the 44th annual Pelluer Invitational on April 11th in Cheney, Wash., against Montana and Idaho.

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