Midles, Arakawa, and Murillo qualify in Texas
The Eastern Washington University track and field team had three athletes meet Big Sky standards at the prestigious 88th annual Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, Thursday and Friday (March 26-27), bringing the early season total to six qualifiers.
"The Texas Relays was a great experience for our athletes. It provided an opportunity for them to compete against some of the top athletes in the nation from the East Region – athletes we don't normally see until the National championships," said head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg.
Olivia Midles and Jordan Arakawa set the tone for the Eagles on Thursday when they each hit marks in the hammer throw which qualified them for the Big Sky Championships. Both Midles and Arakawa are seniors out of Capital High School in Olympia, Wash., and have impressive championship resumes.
Midles had a toss of 186-7 to place fourth overall and Arakawa threw 195-8 to place 10th.
Emma Murillo threw the javelin a distance of 144-5 on Friday to punch her ticket to the conference championships. The senior is the Big Sky Conference champion in that event. Murillo also competed in the hammer throw on Thursday with a mark of 171-1.
The trio of qualifiers won't have to go far for the 2015 Big Sky Outdoor Championships, as they will be hosted by Eastern on May 13-16 at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.
Lewis and Clark State College transfer Kaytlyn Coleman recorded a mark of 163-4 in the hammer throw at her first outdoor meet as an Eagle.
Juniors Joey Payne and Morgan Romey had solid opening marks in their respective throwing events. Payne had a mark of 183-10 in the javelin and Romey threw 42-0 3/4 in the shot put.
Senior Nick Stearns, who qualified for the Big Sky Championships at the Buc Scoring Invite last week (March 20) with a mark of 15-11, entered the competition at a height of 16-0 3/4 but was unable to clear the bar.
Courtney Bray was also unable to clear her opening height in the pole vault of 12-7 1/2. The sophomore is the current Big Sky Champion outdoors in the pole vault and ranks third in the Eastern record books with a mark of 13-6 1/4.
"We had good early season marks and all the athletes will be able to build on their performances as we work through the season," said Mecklenburg.
The majority of the team is in action this weekend in Missoula, Mont., at the Al Manuel meet which takes place today and tomorrow (March 27-28). The Eagles are looking for solid performances to add to the list of qualifying marks already achieved this weekend.