Eagles have first chance to grab Big Sky outdoor qualifying marks at Buc Scoring Invite
After capping off a successful indoor season last month, the Eastern Washington University track and field team will switch gears and begin its outdoor season this Thursday and Friday (March 19-20) at the Buc Scoring Invite in Spokane, Wash.
"This meet is an opportunity to support the regional NCAA track and field programs, as well as picking up qualifying marks before spring break," said head men's coach Stan Kerr.
The Eagles will have a limited squad competing at the two-day meet hosted by Whitworth University. Most of the competitors for Eastern are athletes who redshirted the indoor season or did not compete at the Big Sky Indoor Championships. The team will not be at full strength until the Al Manuel Invitational in Missoula, Mont., on March 27-28.
"This meet is low-key and optional for our athletes," said head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "This meet gives many athletes an opportunity to get their feet wet before we compete at the Al Manuel."
Marks achieved by athletes choosing to compete this weekend will count towards qualifying for the Big Sky Outdoor Championships, which will be hosted by Eastern Washington on May 13-16 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.
This meet will also give athletes who compete in outdoor exclusive events such as the javelin, hammer throw, discus, steeplechase, and the 400-meter hurdles a chance to compete in their premier events alongside their teammates for the first time this season.
Competing in the shot put and discus for the first time this year will be senior Cody Humphrey.
"Cody will be making his long awaited debut after going through a long rehab from injuries that ended his football career," said Kerr.
On the women's side, the 4x100-meter relay made up of Janessa Day, Kendra Fields, Erika Lombardo and Rebecca Tarbert will get their first introduction to the outdoor season.
"Our 4x100-meter relay will also have an opportunity to experience a race before the Al Manuel. The more times we can work to get the baton around the track in a competitive setting, the better," said Mecklenburg.
A pole vault crew made up of Courtney Bray, Anandae Clark, Erin Clark, and Brita Kintz will look to continue their momentum from a solid indoor season.
Senior Nick Stearns will compete in an Eastern uniform for the first time this season after redshirting indoors. Stearns is the outdoor school record holder in the pole vault with a mark of 16-8 3/4.
"The only other crew going in full force is the pole vaulters," explained Mecklenburg. "It is an adjustment moving from an indoor environment to an outdoor environment."
Freshman Elisha Allred (discus, javelin, hammer), Bridgette Underwood (javelin), Hannah Wynstra (javelin), D'onna Robinson (hammer), and Paris Flenoy (hammer) will be making their collegiate debuts in their respective throwing events.
Action in Spokane will begin at noon on both Thursday and Friday. The meet will be scored and will feature other regional schools such as Gonzaga, Spokane CC, and meet host Whitworth.
"Overall, this meet is a good competition that will springboard us into the outdoor season," said Kerr.
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)
Tierra White – (2015 Indoors: Champion in high jump)
Distance Medley Relay – (2015 Indoors: 3rd Paula Gil-Echevarria, Janessa Day, Katie Mahoney, Katie Lynch)