Eastern Set for a Competitive Weekend in California

Eagles to face high-caliber fields in two meets, and look to add to the list of 29 Big Sky qualifying marks 

The Eastern Washington University track and field team is preparing to enter one of the most highly anticipated competition weekends of the outdoor campaign, as it heads to California for the Mt. SAC Relays (April 16-18) and the Beach Invitational (April 17-18).

"Schools from all over the nation come in for the Mt. SAC Relays, it was hard to get athletes in," said head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "It's an opportunity for our athletes to compete against some of the best athletes and improve on their marks to move up on the regional list."

The 57th annual Mt. SAC Relays are rich in tradition and will be held in Walnut, Calif., at Hilmer Lodge Stadium – the site of over 20 world records. The meet dons the slogan, "Where the world's best athletes compete," and features thousands of talented athletes each year.

"It's an atmosphere filled with a very high caliber performances," said head men's coach Stan Kerr. "That's one of the reasons why we go to these meets, so our athletes can be in atmospheres where the level of competitors is at such a top notch that when we are at the Big Sky Championships they are very well acclimated to strong fields and competitors."  

Over 3,000 athletes from around the country will compete at the 21st annual Beach Invitational in Norwalk, Calif., at Cerritos College. The meet is hosted by Long Beach State and will feature many more of the nation's top programs.

The Eagles have had their sights set on this crucial weekend of competition since the start of the season and have been working to post marks that will place them on the travel squad.

"Our group has been working hard since the start of the school year," said Kerr. "It's a great time for our athletes to shine and show our school that we have some great competitors in our program that will be performing this weekend."

Besides the top notch competition, one of the aspects the Eagles are anticipating is the ideal weather conditions. Most of the meets Eastern has competed in this season have been blustery, making it harder for the athletes to post competitive marks – especially in the track events.

"The wind has been a huge factor for everyone who competes on the oval. We haven't been blessed with a wind-free meet this season," explained Kerr. "This weekend, our distance crew and the sprinters will be able to elevate their marks and bump themselves into the top 20 in the Big Sky, that's definitely the goal heading down there."

"This is a critical meet. We're headed down to warm weather, so I'm hoping that will make a huge difference," said Mecklenburg. "The warm weather alone will make a difference in the marks and push athletes close or over the Big Sky standards."

Entering this weekend, The Eagles have 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.

"I'm excited to see how they'll do in a warm weather meet," said Mecklenburg. "I'm looking for steady improvements, and hope that the big marks will come at the Big Sky Championships."

Meet information for the Mt. SAC Relays – including links to schedules and results – may be found at http://www.mtsacrelays.com/. All information for the Beach Invitational is available at http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/lbst/sports/c-track/auto_pdf/2014-15/misc_non_event/15_BeachInviteEntryInfo.pdf.

Men's Qualifiers/Records

Big Sky Championships – May 13-16– Cheney, Wash.
NCAA Championships Preliminary Round – May 28-30 – Austin, Tex..
NCAA Championships – June 10-13 – Eugene, Ore.
School Records Broken: None
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 11 (One New: Cunningham (Discus))

Nick Stearns – Pole Vault – 16-0 3/4 – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS '11)
Cody Humphrey – Shot Put – 54-3 1/4 -- Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS '09)
Jordan Arakawa – Hammer Throw – 203-3 – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS '10)
Phil Puccino – High Jump – 6-9 3/4 – Tacoma, Wash. (Coffeyville CC/Steilacoom  HS '10)
Phil Puccino – Triple Jump – 48-5 1/4 – Tacoma, Wash. (Coffeyville CC/Steilacoom  HS '10)
Jeremy VanAssche – 100 – 10.69 – East Wenatchee, Wash. (Eastmont HS '14)
Brad Michael – 400 – 48.61 – Vancouver, Wash. (Skyview HS '11)
Phil Puccino – Long Jump – 23-5 1/24 -- Tacoma, Wash. (Coffeyville CC/Steilacoom  HS '10)
Cody Humphrey – Discus – 170-7 -- Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS '09)
Joey Payne – Javelin – 190-8 – Richland, Wash. (Richland HS '12)
Aaron Cunningham – Discus – 162-8 – Richland, Wash. (Hanford HS '13)

Women's Qualifiers/Records

Big Sky Championships – May 13-16– Cheney, Wash.
NCAA Championships Preliminary Round – May 28-30 – Austin, Tex..
NCAA Championships – June 10-13 – Eugene, Ore.
School Records Broken: One (Emma Murillo, Discus, 169-0)
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: 18 (Three New: Romey (Discus), Butler (TJ), Robinson (Discus))

Anandae Clark
– Pole Vault – 12-3 1/2 – Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside HS '12)
Olivia Midles
– Hammer Throw – 186-7 – Olympia, Wash. (Capital HS '10)
Emma Murillo
– Javelin – 144-5 – Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge HS '10)
Kelsie Forcier
– Discus – 160-5 – Port Orchard, Wash. (South Kitsap HS '12)
Morena Mannucci
– Triple Jump – 39-1 1/4 – Rome, Italy (Anco Marzio HS '10)
Emma Murillo
– Discus – 169-0 – Kennewick, Wash. (Southridge HS '10)
Sarah Reiter
– 5,000 – 16:36.28 – Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS '12/Montana State)
Sarah Reiter
– 10,000 – Cross-Qualified in 5,000 -- Renton, Wash. (Lindbergh HS '12/Montana State)
Berenice Penaloza
– 5,000 – 17:05.41 – Yakima, Wash. (Eisenhower HS '11)
Berenice Penaloza
– 10,000 – Cross-Qualified in 5,000  – Yakima, Wash. (Eisenhower HS '11)
Paula Gil-Echevarria
– Steeplechase – 10:40.94 – Madrid, Spain
Catie Arrigoni
– Steeplechase – 10:50.80 – Oroville, Wash. (Oroville HS '11/Everett CC)
Katie Mahoney
– Steeplechase – 10:28.68 – Richland, Wash. (Richland HS '12)
Morgan Romey
– Shot Put – 47-0 1/4 – Micah, Wash. (Freeman HS '11)
Kaytlyn Coleman
– Hammer Throw – 184-3 – Kennewick, Wash. (Kennewick HS '11/Lewis-Clark SC)
Morgan Romey
– Discus – 148-10 -- Micah, Wash. (Freeman HS '11)
Dominique Butler
– Triple Jump – 38-5 1/2 – Spokane, Wash. (Lewis-Clark HS '14)
D'onna Robinson
– Discus – 151-7 – Gladstone, Ore. (Gladstone HS '13)

RETURNING ALL-BIG SKY ATHLETES

The following Eagle athletes have earned All-Big Sky Conference honors (top three finish) in previous Big Sky Conference track and field championships (indoors and outdoors):
Brad Michael – (2014 Indoors: 3rd in 400; 2013 Outdoors: 3rd in 400; 2013 Indoors: 2nd in 400;2012 Outdoors: 3rd in 400; 2012 Indoors: 2nd in 400, 3rd in 200)
Phil Puccino – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in triple jump; 2012 Indoors: 3rd in triple jump)
Nick Stearns – (2014 Outdoors: 2nd in pole vault; 2013 Outdoors: 2nd in pole vault; 2012 Indoors: 3rd in pole vault)
4x400 Relay - (2013 Outdoors: 2nd/Kramer Green, Nick Olsson, Brad Michael, Brad Wall; 2012 Indoors: Champion/Collin Green, Michael Okoro, Brad Michael, Brad Wall; )
Jordan Arakawa – (2015 Indoors: Champion in weight throw; 2014 Outdoors: 2nd in weight throw; 2014 Indoors: Champion in weight throw; 2013 outdoors: 2nd in hammer throw; 2013 Indoors: 2nd in weight throw)
Joey Payne – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in javelin)
Trenton Osborn- (2015 Indoors: Champion in long jump; 2014 Indoors: 2nd in long jump)

Emma Murillo – (2015 Indoors: 2nd in weight throw; 2014 Outdoors: Champion in javelin; 2013 Outdoors: 3rd in hammer throw; 2013 Indoors: 3rd in weight throw)
Katie Mahoney – (2014 Outdoors: 3rd in steeplechase; 2013 Outdoors: 2nd in 3,000 steeplechase)
Catie Arrigoni – (2014 Outdoors: Champion in steeplechase, 2nd in 5,000)
Sarah Reiter – (2014 Cross Country: Champion; 2014 Outdoors: 3rd in 10,000)
Olivia Midles – (2013 Outdoors: 2nd in hammer throw)
Courtney Bray – (2015 Indoors: 3rd in pole vault; 2014 Outdoors: Champion in pole vault)
Anandae Clark – (2015 Indoors: 2nd in pole vault)
Morena Mannucci – (2015 Indoors: 3rd in triple jump)
Kaytlyn Coleman – (2015 Indoors: 3rd in weight throw)
Distance Medley Relay – (2015 Indoors: 3rd Paula Gil-Echevarria, Janessa Day, Katie Mahoney, Katie Lynch)
Tierra White – (2015 Indoors: Champion in high jump)



SEASON NOTES

Big Sky Conference Preseason Polls
 Voting is calculated with each team receiving 11 points for a first place vote, 10 points for a second place vote, etc. Coaches are allowed to vote for their respective teams. Below are the final results with the number of first place votes in parenthesis.

Men's Poll

Team, Points                                             
Northern Arizona, 140 – (10 first-place votes)                     
Sacramento State, 130 – (2 first-place votes)                         
Montana State, 124                              
Southern Utah, 97                              
Idaho State, 87                                   
Weber State, 81                                 
Eastern Washington, 79                     
Northern Colorado, 54                       
Montana, 53                                       
North Dakota, 40                                
Portland State, 26                 
Idaho, 25                                            


Women's Poll

Team, Points
Sacramento State, 133 – (7 first-place votes)                          
Montana State, 129 – (2 first-place votes)                                  
Northern Arizona, 125 – (2 first-place votes)                             
Portland State, 105 – (1 first-place vote)                                  
Eastern Washington, 100                         
Weber State, 81                                  
Northern Colorado, 68                           
Montana, 62                                          
Idaho State, 41                                       
North Dakota, 39                                    
Southern Utah, 38                    
Idaho, 15                                               

NATIONALLY-RANKED EAGLES – Eastern has 11 athletes sitting in the top 100 nationally (Division I).

Men

56. Phillip Puccino (High Jump, 6-9 3/4)
93. Phillip Puccino (Triple Jump, 48-5 1/4)
92. Cody Humphrey (Discus, 170-7)
44. Jordan Arakawa (Hammer Throw, 203-3)

 

Women
70. Olivia Midles (Hammer Throw, 186-7)
81. Emma Murillo (Javelin, 144-5)
47. Emma Murillo (Discus, 169-0)
74. Sarah Reiter (5,000, 16:36.28)
33. Katie Mahoney (Steeplechase, 10:28.68)
75. Paula Gil-Echevarria (Steeplechase, 10:40.94)
80. Kaytlyn Coleman (Hammer Throw, 184-3)
87. Kelsie Forcier (Discus, 160-5)


 BIG SKY LEADERS – Eastern currently has two athletes who lead the Big Sky in their events: Morena Mannucci (Triple jump, 39-1 1/4), and Phil Puccino (Triple jump, 48-5 1/4 and Long jump, 23-5 1/2).

REGIONALLY-RANKED – The following Eagles have hit marks that rank in or near the top 48 of the Division I West Region

Men
38. Phil Puccino (High Jump, 6-9 3/4)
18. Jordan Arakawa (Hammer Throw, 203-3)
41. Phil Puccino (Triple Jump, 47-5)
49. Cody Humphrey (Discus, 170-7)

Women
43. Olivia Midles (Hammer Throw, 186-7)
41. Emma Murillo (Javelin, 144-5)
33. Emma Murillo (Discus, 169-0)
33. Sarah Reiter (5,000, 16:36.28)
13. Katie Mahoney (Steeplechase, 10:28.68)
31. Paula Gil-Echevarria (Steeplechase, 10:40.94)
45. Catie Arrigoni (Steeplechase, 10:50.80)
49. Kaytlyn Coleman (Hammer Throw, 184-3)

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