Eastern wraps up the regular season with two new conference qualifiers and 11 new top-ten marks
The Eastern Washington University track and field team capped off its regular season indoor campaign with two new conference qualifiers and 11 new top-ten marks at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash., and the Boise State Team Challenge in Nampa, Idaho, this Friday and Saturday (Feb. 13-14).
Day one of the Husky Classic started off on a high note when Sarah Reiter, Paula Gil-Echevarria, Katie Mahoney, and Catie Arrigoni set the new school record in the distance medley relay with a time of 11:58.15. The previous record of 12:10.77 was set back in 2003 by Caitlin Prunty, Lisa Harrison, Haley Heater, and Jeanette Gardiner.
Mahoney's record-breaking success didn't stop there as she broke the school record in the mile with a time of 4:51.85 – just one second off the Big Sky qualifying standard. In addition to her records she attained this weekend, Mahoney also holds the school record outdoors in the 1,500 (4:24.05).
The previous school record of 4:54.37 was set by teammate Gil-Echevarria two weeks ago at the UW Invitational. She is not to be overlooked, as she ran a time of 4:54.55 in the mile this Saturday.
The first conference qualifier of the weekend was sophomore Erin Clark in the pole vault on Friday night. Clark recorded a new personal best of 12-0 1/2 to rank eighth in school history.
Eastern's success in the pole vault continued into day two of the Husky Classic when Anandae Clark cleared 13-0 1/4 in the pole vault – a huge personal best that launches her to fourth in the Eastern record books.
Courtney Bray jumped 13-0 1/4 as well, making this the third meet in a row that she has cleared 13 feet. Bray is the defending outdoor Big Sky champion in the pole vault and currently ranks third indoors with a mark of 13-1 3/4.
Phillip Puccino booked his ticket to Flagstaff with a jump of 46-8 in the triple jump. This was the first time Puccino had made an appearance in that event since last season's indoor league championships.
Sarah Reiter cruised to a 14-second personal best in the 3,000 with a time of 9:46.18 – just two seconds off the school record of 9:44.98, set by Kari McKay in 1992.
Kaytlyn Coleman had another personal best in the weight throw on Friday night with a toss of 64-8 3/4 to place second overall. Competing in an Eastern uniform for just the fifth time, Coleman now ranks second in school history – less than a foot off the school record of 65-9.
Freshman Rebecca Tarbert continues to be a force to be reckoned with in the Big Sky Conference as she ran a time of 7.60 in the 60-meter dash to qualify for the elite finals where she finished eighth overall. Tarbert's new personal best now ranks her second in school history.
Jordan Arakawa put himself in good position for the Big Sky Conference championships when he placed third in the men's weight throw with a season best toss of 64-10 3/4. Arakawa is the defending league champion in that event and currently ranks second in school history (66-1).
Sophomore Janessa Day broke into Eastern's top-ten list in the 400-meter dash with a personal best time of 57.42. Austin Upmeyer also recorded a season best in that event of 49.32.
Freshman Tierra White has been Eastern's top competitor in the high jump all season. It was no different this week as she recorded a new personal best of 5-6 and moved up to fifth all-time.
Morgan Romey now ranks eighth in school history with her personal best of 45-7 in the shot put – nearly missing the Big Sky standard of 45-11 3/4.
At the Boise State Team Challenge, Mayra Chavez finished second overall in the 3,000 with a time of 10:13.93 to rank eighth all-time at Eastern.
Katie Lynch ran a personal best of 2:19.66 in the 800, just two seconds off of cracking Eastern's top-ten list.
Eastern will head to the conference meet with a total of 20 qualifying marks – 14 for the women and six for the men.
Athletes can also make it to conference by hitting marks that will place them in the top 16 in their respective events. Many Eagles achieved season bests this weekend that will move them up on the lists and will now wait for results around the conference to learn their fate.
The championships will be hosted by Big Sky preseason favorites Northern Arizona at the Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Ariz., on Feb. 26-28.
Quoting Head Women's Coach Marcia Mecklenburg
"It was a great day to be an Eagle in Seattle!"
"Our distance runners continue to improve and had the best performances of the meet for EWU, setting two new school records."
"Sarah Reiter ran a stellar 3,000 and Rebecca Tarbert continues to be a force in the 60-meter dash."
"The field events added some amazing performances of their own. Kaytlyn Coleman continues to improve in the weight throw -- she has had an amazing two weeks in the throwing events."
"Tierra White made her presence known in the high jump today with her personal best jump."
"In the pole vault, our solid one-two punch of Courtney Bray and Anandae Clark continues to get better."
"Across all event areas, this was by far our best meet of the year."
Quoting Head Men's Coach Stan Kerr
"This is a marquee meet for our athletes. Teams from the SEC, ACC, and PAC-12 as well as many of the top individual athletes from other Big Sky schools competed hard and were rewarded with marks that will take them to their respective conference championships."
"It was very rewarding to watch Phil Puccino compete in the triple jump as he qualified for the conference championships. Phil has persevered through injuries throughout his career and has once again qualified for the indoor championships as a senior."
"Jordan Arakawa continued to show why he's one of the conference's elite athletes with his consistency in the weight throw."
"Austin Upmeyer competed well in the 400 and Jeremy VanAssche also showed why he'll be a factor in Flagstaff with his efforts in the 60-meter and 200-meter dash."