Eastern to Send Eight Athletes to the 88th Annual Texas Relays

Eastern to Send Eight Athletes to the 88th Annual Texas Relays

Eagles will split up between Austin, Texas, and Missoula as outdoor season gets underway

The Eastern Washington University track and field team will split up between Texas and Montana for this week's competitions as the outdoor season is in full swing. Regional qualifiers will head to Austin, Texas, for the 88th Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on March 25-28. The rest of the squad will be in full force in Missoula, Mont., for the Al Manuel meet on March 27-28.

The prestigious Texas Relays will be held at Mike A. Myers Stadium, the site for the 2015 NCAA Division I Preliminary Round. Head coaches Stan Kerr and Marcia Mecklenburg will be sending athletes who have previously competed at the regional meet, or have shown strong indications of hitting a mark that will get them there.

Representing the women in Texas will be Courtney Bray (pole vault), Emma Murillo (hammer, javelin), Kaytlyn Coleman (hammer), Morgan Romey (hammer), and Olivia Midles (hammer).

Nick Stearns (pole vault), Jordan Arakawa (hammer), and Joey Payne (javelin) will make up the Texas Relays crew for the men.

The rest of the squad will head to Big Sky country for the Al Manuel, a traditional meet that Eastern has attended for a number of years. Athletes competing at this meet will get a chance to go head-to-head with Big Sky foes Montana State and meet host Montana.

This meet will also be an opportunity for the Eagles to put up marks that will qualify them for higher level meets later in the season.

Eastern has attained three Big Sky qualifying marks through one meet so far this season, with two for the men and one for the women. The Big Sky Outdoor Championships will be hosted by Eastern on May 13-16 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.

The women's hammer will kick off the Texas Relays for the Eagles on Thursday, March 26 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time. Live results for the meet will be available at http://branchsportstech.com/TexasRelays/

The hammer throw will be the lone event on Friday in Missoula, beginning at 2 p.m. Pacific time. Field events will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, followed by the running events at 10:15.

Quoting Head Women's Coach Marcia Mecklenburg

On the Texas Relays:

"We will be taking our regional qualifiers to this meet so they will have an opportunity to compete at a higher level, much like they will be doing at the regional meet. In a few weeks, we'll send our distance group that is in that same position to California for the Stanford Invitational."

"Olivia is the only one who has gone to regionals in the hammer. Emma has competed at regionals in the javelin and will be throwing in that event in Texas, so we put her in the hammer because I feel like she has a good shot at qualifying for regionals for that event, too. Kaytlyn is a transfer from Lewis-Clark State College and placed at the NAIA national meet in the hammer last season -- I think she's got a great shot at making it to regionals here as well."

"This will be a lot of fun for this crew because a lot of east coast teams will be at this meet. It will be a great opportunity to see what other schools are doing, and to get a chance to compete against them."

"This is a huge meet with really high quality fields. I think we have a shot at winning some events."

On the Al Manuel:

"This is a traditional meet for us, we've been there year in and year out. It's an important meet for athletes to get their feet wet and see where they're at, we always hope to get qualifiers, too."

"This meet is a great opener. It's not far away from home, and since its spring break the athletes don't have the pressure of studying. It's a great time to have a meet, and a great place to have a meet."

"Our first expectation is to win the duals against Montana and Montana State. We always try to go in and win that meet. The second expectation is to get conference qualifiers. We hope to solidify a little more of who we will be taking to the bigger meets down the road. It's an opportunity for the athletes to show us what they've got."

"We'll be going into the high jump with our conference champion, Tierra White. This should be a good meet for her. It will also be nice to have Berenice Penaloza back after redshirting the indoor season. Kelsie Forcier will be competing in the hammer, I expect her to compete and win."

Quoting Head Men's Coach Stan Kerr

On the Texas Relays:

"Our regional trio of Jordan, Joey and Nick will be part of one of the premier meets in the United States this weekend.  As seasoned competitors, I'm looking at this opportunity to compete with the nation's finest and come out with strong early season marks."

On the Al Manuel:

"The annual Al Manuel meet in Missoula has been a long tradition for the Eagles to formally open up the outdoor season."

"A couple of reasons that make this a quality competition are the teams involved (Montana and Montana State) and the fact that our freshmen, in a sense, are no longer freshmen.  They've been through the cross country and indoor Big Sky Championships and enter this competition with their eyes wide open to the caliber of competition they'll be facing on Friday and Saturday."

"I expect contributions from all of the event areas. Trenton Osborn will lead our jumps crew. Brad Michael will open his outdoor season in Missoula and lead the sprint/hurdle crew. Aaron Brenton will take charge with the distance squad, and Cody Humphrey will do the same with our throws crew."

"While a handful of athletes in the Big Sky Conference have already qualified for the championships in Cheney, our plan is add several qualifiers to that list the end of the meet."

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: Two

Nick Stearns – Pole Vault – 15-11 – Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS '11)
Cody Humphrey – Shot Put – 54-1 1/4 -- Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS '09)

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: None
Total Big Sky Championships Qualifying Marks Attained: One

Anandae Clark
– Pole Vault – 12-3 1/2 – Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside HS '12)

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 LEADERS –
Eastern currently has one athlete who leads the Big Sky in their event: Anandae Clark (pole vault, 12-3 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
35. Aaron Brenton (Steeplechase, 9:53.60)
40. Austin Oser (Steeplechase, 10:05.89)
41. Nik Taylor (Steeplechase, 10:16.79)
30. Nick Stearns (Pole Vault, 15-11)
41. Chase Davis (Pole Vault, 15-5)
33. Cody Humphrey (Shot Put, 54-1 1/4)
50. Max Pratt (Javelin, 184-8)

Women
25. Anandae Clark (Pole Vault, 12-3 1/2)
46. Bridgette Underwood (Javelin, 133-2)

TOP SEASON PERFORMANCES

Men

Nick Stearns – Pole Vault -- Pahrump, Nev. (Pahrump Valley HS '11)
In his first meet in an Eastern uniform since the 2014 outdoor season, Stearns qualified for the Big Sky Championships in the pole vault, clearing a height of 15-11 at the Buc Scoring Invite.

Cody Humphrey – Throws -- Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS '09)
In his first meet since the 2014 outdoor season, Humphrey threw a personal best in the shot put of 54-1 1/4 to qualify for the Big Sky Championships.

Women

Anandae Clark – Pole Vault -- Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Lakeside HS '12)
Clark cleared a height of 12-3 1/2 in the pole vault to secure a victory and qualify for the outdoor championships at the Buc Scoring Invite – a mark that currently leads the Big Sky and ranks 25th in the Division I West Region.

 

 
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