Senior thrower and freshman sprinter honored by the conference for the first time this season
Jeremy VanAssche and Jordan Arakawa from the Eastern Washington University track and field team were selected as the Big Sky Conference track and field athletes of the week for the week of April 20 for their stellar performances at the Beach Invitational and the Mt. SAC Relays this past weekend (April 17-18).
"Jordan and Jeremy are two individuals that symbolize our program," said head men's coach Stan Kerr. "They are hard working in the classroom, dedicated at practice, and gracious teammates."
Arakawa, a senior out of Olympia, Wash., placed first in the open section of the hammer throw at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., with a conference-leading toss of 211-3. His season best ranks him 21st in the West Region.
Arakawa adds his eighth career Big Sky Athlete of the Week nod to an impressive resume of accomplishments. Last season, he qualified for the Division I NCAA National Championships in the hammer throw. He has a total of five All-Big Sky accolades (top-three finish at a conference championship) – including back-to-back indoor conference titles in the weight throw. His personal bests in the weight throw (66-1 1/2) and the hammer throw (219-3) rank second in school history.
VanAssche, a freshman out of Eastmont HS in East Wenatchee, Wash., tied a 15-year-old school record in the 100 with a time of 10.43 to place second overall at the Beach Invitational in Norwalk, Calif. VanAssche shares the record with Johnnie Williams who set it back in 1999. His new personal best sits atop the Big Sky Conference and 21st in the West Region.
His success carried into the 200 where he hit the Big Sky Conference qualifying standard with a personal best of 21.44 to rank seventh in school history and place third overall. At the same meet, he ran the lead-off leg of the 4x100-meter relay that placed second overall with a time of 41.54.
This is the first Big Sky honor of VanAssche's career. He had a successful inaugural indoor season for the Eagles, placing fifth in the 60 at the 2015 conference championships. Indoors, he ranks fifth all-time in the 60 (6.90) and eighth in the 200 (21.95).
The duo and their teammates will be in action again this weekend at the Spokane Memorial Open in Spokane, Wash., and the WSU Cougar Invitational in Pullman, Wash., on April 25.