Eastern grabs four more Big Sky qualifiers on a blustery day at Roos Field
43rd Annual Pelluer Invitational Results
The Eastern Washington University track and field teams battled 25 mile per hour winds on Saturday (April 11) at the 43rd annual Pelluer Invitational in Cheney, Wash., where a school record was set and three more athletes qualified for the Big Sky Conference Championships.
The Eagles battled through less than ideal weather conditions to win 20 events and prevail over Big Sky foes Montana and Idaho. The men's team defeated Montana 102-49 and Idaho 102-20, while the women's team grabbed victories over Montana 73.5 to 63 and Idaho 73.5 to 39.5.
Emma Murillo set a new school record and a new meet record in the discus with a toss of 169-0. The previous school record of 160-9 was set by Carolee Gutierrez in 2007. Murillo's personal best in the discus prior to today's competition was 159-11.
Kelsie Forcier nearly broke the discus school record as well with a personal bes toss of 160-5 to rank second in school history.
Freshman D'onna Robinson punched her ticket to the Big Sky Conference Championships in the discus with a throw of 151-7 to earn a 10th place spot on Eastern's top-ten list.
Morgan Romey and Aaron Cunningham also qualified for the championships in the discus with personal best throws of 148-10 and 162-8, respectively.
Dominique Butler, a freshman out of Lewis-Clark HS in Spokane, Wash., qualified for her first Big Sky berth in the triple jump with a leap of 38-5 1/2. Butler's new personal best of over a foot placed second behind teammate Morena Mannucci who won the event with a Big Sky leading mark of 39-1 1/4. Mannucci and Butler also placed second and third in the long jump with marks of 17-3 1/2 and 17-0 3/4, respectively.
Senior Phil Puccino dominated in the jumping events for the third week in a row, winning the high jump with a personal best of 6-9 3/4 to rank 10th all-time at Eastern. Puccino also leaped to a personal best in the long jump of 23-5 1/2 to place first and earn the top spot in the Big Sky Conference.
Cody Humphrey recorded wins and personal bests in the shot put (54-3 1/4) and the discus (170-7). Humphrey's new record in the discus ranks 10th all-time at Eastern -- his previous best in the event was 159-9.
Jordan Arakawa eclipsed the 200-foot mark in the hammer throw for the first time this season, winning the event with a throw of 203-3.
The Eastern women swept the hammer throw, led by Kaytlyn Coleman with a mark of 184-3 to rank fifth all-time. Olivia Midles placed second (182-4) and Murillo placed third with a toss of 174-0.
In the women's distance events, Katie Mahoney won the 800 with a time of 2:14.97. Sarah Reiter placed second in the 1,500 with a time of 4:38.37, closing in on the Big Sky qualifying mark of 4:30.00.
Rebecca Tarbert continued her winning streak in the 100 with a time of 12.49, as the freshman has placed first in that event at every meet so far this season. Tarbert's former Eastmont HS teammate Jeremy VanAssche also placed first in the 100 (11.01) and the 200 (22.22).
Other event winners include Brad Michael (400, 48.61), Nick Stearns (pole vault, 15-9), Erika Lombardo (200, 26.15), Stephen Bottoms (5,000, 15:00.61), Isaac Kitzan (1,500, 4:17.73), Nik Taylor (steeplechase, 9:51.99) and both the men's and women's 4x100-meter relays with times of 41.11 and 48.19, respectively.
The Eagles now have a total of 14 women and eight men combine for a total of 29 qualifying marks on the season. The 2015 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships will be held on May 13-16 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.
Eastern will be in action next week at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 15-18 in Walnut, Calif., and at the Long Beach Invitational in Cerritos, Calif., on April 17-18.
Quoting Head Women's Coach Marcia Mecklenburg
"Discus was awesome -- it was a great event for Eastern today. We had four different athletes come away with personal bests and qualify for conference. The top one of the bunch set a school record -- I am so excited for Emma and her nine foot personal best. That's huge, I love doing that on the home ring. We are excited because we will be hosting the Big Sky Championships, so the athletes now know what they can do in a meet situation on our rings. It's going to be a big confidence booster."
"I'm happy with Kaytlyn's win in the hammer -- she was close to a personal best and I'm very excited about that."
"I am also pleased with Morena's win in the triple jump -- that was a great mark for her. Dominique also had a personal best in the triple jump of over a foot."
"Katie Mahoney is very consistent in the 800. I feel that if we can get her to run that in a meet where she isn't training for the steeplechase she'll post a big time."
"Overall, I am pleased with the performances. The conditions weren't that great with the wind and cool temperatures. Our sprinters struggled a little bit, but they still did well."
Quoting Head Men's Coach Stan Kerr
"Today was a meet of surprises given the weather forecast. We thought the wind and the cold would play a bigger factor, but it goes to show that with a good attitude, persistence, and good leadership, those elements didn't distract our athletes from what they came to do today and they were rewarded with great performances."
"Phil has put in a lot of years here working hard and dealing with injuries, and now he has put himself in a position to have the kind of experience at the Big Sky Championships that you envision. He's worked very hard to put himself in that position and now his performances are rewarding him."
"Cody has come back from a significant injury, and to see him have a giant personal best like that is just a thrill. I know he's excited and he works hard. He is an ultimate team guy and is always cheering people on. I wish we could have him another four years."
"We had several event winners today. Jeremy leading our 4x100-meter relay team to a season best time. I'm proud of Nick in the pole vault, that's hard to do on windy days. Brad pulled out a great 400 time – we're looking for a day without tough winds so his 48 second time can go down to 47 seconds."
"This is Jordan's first throw of over 200 feet this season. When you lift hard and study as hard as he does, you begin to get consistent in the ring. Jordan is transitioning from a college competitor to a med school student, so he has a demanding schedule and he leads us in many ways."
"We didn't have any conference qualifying marks in the distance events, but the men had significant breakthroughs in terms of personal bests and efforts on the track. They are getting healthy, so it's very encouraging to see those times drop off significantly."