Track and Field Set to Compete at Cougar Invitational

Eastern has second-to-last chance to add to list of 34 qualifying marks

The Eastern Washington University track and field team is preparing to make the quick bus trip to Pullman, Wash., for the Cougar Invitational on Saturday (April 25).

"It's been a handful of years since we've competed outdoors in Pullman," said head men's coach Stan Kerr. "We're looking forward to competing in the venue that was the site of last year's Pac-12 outdoor track & field championships."

The Eagles will face off against Big Sky member Idaho, as well as meet host Washington State, and Gonzaga in Division I scoring. Saturday's competition may feature smaller field sizes and heats than Eastern encountered last week in California, but the meet is anything but low-key as this weekend's competition will be the second-to-last chance for Eastern to hit marks that will qualify them for the Big Sky Championships.

With the regular season winding down Kerr, along with head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg, are pleased with how the season has gone so far but are looking forward to seeing what else their athletes can do.

"I am very pleased with how our athletes are doing up to this point. We have good kids in all the event areas that have stepped up and are performing at a competitive level," said Mecklenburg. "I am really excited to see how they do in the next couple of weeks."

"Last weekend's performances sum up how I feel the season has gone, great! Individually and team-wise we are about 90% ready for the conference championships," explained Kerr. "The knowledge that we're competing at home for the championships has introduced an intangible energy to the team."

This will be Eastern's first venture to Pullman for an outdoor track meet in six years. The site of the invitational will take place at the Mooberry Track and Field Complex. The unique aspect of the facility is that all field events, despite the hammer throw, take place on the infield of the track so spectators and competitors will be able to watch all of the action from one viewpoint.

"That's one of the best things about the facility," Mecklenburg said of the Mooberry Complex. "The throwers will get to see the runners run, and the jumpers jump. And the runners and jumpers will get to see the throwers throw. That makes for a great track and field meet."

In addition to the friendly meet site, the Eagles are eager to take advantage of competing close to home after a long weekend of competition last week in California at the Mt. SAC Relays and the Beach Invitational.

"The 90-minute drive to Pullman is athlete friendly," said Kerr. "We enjoy the scaled down logistics of doing a single day vs. a multi-day trip."

"Any time an athlete can sleep in their own bed will give them an advantage. It will be nice to only have to travel about an hour to get to the meet," Mecklenburg said. "The families of the athletes that are from the Inland Northwest will be able to easily get to the meet and watch their sons or daughters compete. And the best advantage yet is that they don't miss any school for the competition."

Eastern will be in full force this weekend, however, should the Spokane Falls Community College add the 10,000-meter run to their schedule at the Spokane Memorial Open meet on April 24-25, Eastern distance runners will remain even closer to home for a shot to qualify in that event.

The Eagles now have 15 women and ten men combine for 34 total qualifying marks. The 2015 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships will take place in Cheney, Wash., at Roos Field on May 13-16.

Action at the Cougar Invitational will begin with the field events at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time, followed by the running events at noon.

The Oregon State High Performance meet will be the Eagles last regular season meet of the season on May 2 in Corvalis, Ore.

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: One (Jeremy VanAssche, 100, 10.43 (tied))
Total Big Sky Qualifying Marks Attained: 14

Nick Stearns – Pole Vault – 16-6
Cody Humphrey – Shot Put – 54-3 1/4
Cody Humphrey – Discus – 170-7
Jordan Arakawa – Hammer Throw – 211-3
Phil Puccino – High Jump – 6-9 3/4
Phil Puccino – Triple Jump – 48-5 1/4
Phil Puccino – Long Jump – 23-5 1/4
Jeremy VanAssche – 100 – 10.43
Jeremy VanAssche – 200 – 21.44
Brad Michael – 400 – 48.61
Joey Payne – Javelin – 190-8
Aaron Cunningham – Discus – 162-8
Austin Upmeyer – 400 – 48.81
Trenton Osborn – Long Jump – 23-1 3/4

 

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: 19

Anandae Clark – Pole Vault – 12-3 1/2
Olivia Midles – Hammer Throw – 186-7
Emma Murillo – Javelin – 144-5
Emma Murillo – Discus – 169-0
Kelsie Forcier – Discus – 160-5
Morena Mannucci – Triple Jump – 40-6
Sarah Reiter – 5,000 – 16:36.28
Sarah Reiter – 10,000 – 34:38.42
Berenice Penaloza – 5,000 – 17:05.41
Berenice Penaloza – 10,000 – 36:35.61
Paula Gil-Echevarria – Steeplechase – 10:30.40
Catie Arrigoni – Steeplechase – 10:34.83
Katie Mahoney – Steeplechase – 10:28.68
Katie Mahoney – 1500 – 4:28.96
Morgan Romey – Shot Put – 47-0 1/4
Morgan Romey – Discus – 148-10
Kaytlyn Coleman – Hammer Throw – 184-3
Dominique Butler – Triple Jump – 38-5 ½
D'onna Robinson – Discus – 151-7
Jozie Kimes – Heptathlon – 4,485

Season Notes

Big Sky Leaders: Eastern currently has five athletes who lead the Big Sky Conference in their respective events: Jeremy VanAssche (100, 10.43), Nick Stearns (Pole Vault, 16-6), Phil Puccino (Triple Jump, 48-5 1/4), Morena Mannucci (Triple Jump, 40-6), and Jordan Arakawa (Hammer Throw, 211-3).

Regionally Ranked Eagles: The following Eagles have hit marks that rank in or near the top 48 of the Division I West Region:

Men:

21. Jeremy VanAssche (100, 10.43)
43. Phil Puccino (High Jump, 6-8 3/4)
45. Phil Puccino (Triple Jump, 48-5 1/2)
8. Jordan Arakawa (Hammer Throw, 211-3)

Women:

37. Sarah Reiter (10,000, 34:38.42)
22. Katie Mahoney (Steeplechase, 10:28.68)
25. Paula Gil-Echevarria (Steeplechase, 10:30.40)
36. Catie Arrigoni (Steeplechase, 10:34.83)
32. Morena Mannucci (Triple Jump, 40-6)
36. Emma Murillo (Discus, 169-0)
44. Olivia Midles (Hammer Throw, 186-7)
47. Emma Murillo (Javelin, 144-5)

Nationally Ranked Eagles: The following Eagles have hit marks that rank in or near the top 100 in Division I:

Men:

42. Jeremy VanAssche (100, 10.43)
66. Phil Puccino (High Jump, 6-8 3/4)
91. Nick Stearns (Pole Vault, 16-6)
21. Jordan Arakawa (Hammer Throw, 211-3)
99. Cody Humphrey (Discus, 170-7)

Women:
61. Sarah Reiter (10,000, 34:38.42)
57. Katie Mahoney (Steeplechase, 10:28.68)
62. Paula Gil-Echevarria (Steeplechase, 10:30.40)
83. Catie Arrigoni (Steeplechase, 10:34.83)
75. Morena Mannucci (Triple Jump, 40-6)
52. Emma Murillo (Discus, 169-0)
91. Kelsie Forcier (Discus, 160-5)
75. Olivia Midles (Hammer Throw, 186-7)
89. Kaytlyn Coleman (Hammer Throw, 184-3)

90. Emma Murillo (Javelin, 144-5)
98. Jozie Kimes (Heptathlon, 4,485)

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