Morena Mannucci Wins Big Sky Triple Jump Title

Morena Mannucci Wins Big Sky Triple Jump Title

Eastern grabs four more all-conference performances as the men and women each finish fifth in team standings as the Big Sky Conference Championships come to a close

The Eastern Washington University track and field team wrapped up the 2015 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships on Saturday (May 16) at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash., with a total of ten all-conference performances (top three finish).

Both the men and the women finished fifth in the team standings. The men finished with a total of 72 points behind Weber State (78) and ahead of Idaho State (63). The women accumulated 80 total points, trailing fourth-place Northern Arizona (97) and ahead of North Dakota (52.5). The Sacramento State women took home the team title, while the Northern Arizona and Sacramento State men tied for first.

"We had people performing out of their minds," said head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "We wanted top three, but I'm very fortunate to have place fifth. I'm thankful and happy for our team."

Eastern senior Jordan Arakawa received the male most outstanding performer award along with Northern Arizona's Brooke Andersen. Montana State's Cristian Soratos and Heather Demorest were named the most valuable athletes.

"Grateful. That sums up how I feel about the talented team that I get the privilege of working with every day," said head men's Stan Kerr. "A coaching staff that is outstanding, and an athletic department and university that has supported us from start to finish."

In her final Big Sky Championships, senior Morena Mannucci came out on top in the women's triple jump, setting a new school record of 41-1 3/4 and winning the event by a foot and a half.

"What a great way to end Morena's last Big Sky Conferene Championship," said Mecklenburg. "Nobody even came close to her in that event, it was a storybook ending."

In the women's 4x100-meter relay, Paige Hammock, Erika Lombardo, Brooke Monson, and Rebecca Tarbert earned all-conference honors with a down-to-the-wire third place finish.

"The Big Sky sprints are tough," said Mecklenburg. "We almost came in second on our own home turf. I am so happy for them."

Phil Puccino earned his second all-conference honor of the weekend with a third place finish in the triple jump (48-3 1/2).

"With so many highlights, it will take some time to really appreciate how will this team performed," said Kerr. "I'm particularly proud of our seniors whose leadership sparked the whole squad to higher, faster, and stronger performances throughout the championships."

In the discus, Kelsie Forcier placed third with a toss of 156-3, earning the first all-conference honor of her career.

"Kelsie was disappointed after her performances in the shot put and hammer, but she came back to place third for the first time in her career," said Mecklenburg. "That says a lot that she was able to put that behind her and focus on what the team needed her to do."

Freshman Tierra White placed fourth in the women's high jump with a mark of 5-5 3/4.

Katie Mahoney placed fourth in the 1,500 with an impressive season best of 4:28.09. After placing third in the steeplechase yesterday, Paula Gil-Echevarria won her heat of the 1,500 with a time of 4:34.11 – tying her personal best and placing seventh overall.

In the hammer throw, senior Olivia Midles placed fourth (187-3), followed by Kaytlyn Coleman who placed fifth overall with a toss of 185-7.

On the track, freshman Jeremy VanAssche placed fourth in the 100 (10.69) and sixth in the 200 (22.02).

VanAssche also teamed up with Tyree Fort, Obinna Nnadi, and Blair Bomber for a fourth place finish in the 4x100-relay with a time of 41.41.

Monson (56.13, 400), Tarbert (12.33,100), and senior Brad Michael (47.79, 400) also had solid performances in the finals of their respective events.

In the men's javelin, freshman James Swanson finished sixth overall with a personal best of 188-10. Joey Payne finished eighth in that event with a mark of 186-10.

Freshman Dominique Butler finished sixth in the triple jump at her first Big Sky Championships with a mark of 37-7 1/4.

Cody Humphrey placed seventh in the shot put with a toss of 52-4 1/2, scoring key points for the Eagles.

Stephen Bottoms also scored two points for the men's team with a seventh place finish and personal best of 3:52.78 in the 1,500. He also finished 12th in the 5,000 with a time of 15:09.64.

"I know the coaches are already excited for next year as we return a talented squad and have several top recruits joining the team," said Kerr.

A handful of Eastern athletes will now prepare for the NCAA Preliminary Rounds in Austin, Texas, on May 28-30.

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