Eagles finish meet with nine total Big Sky Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship qualifying marks, including seven for women and two for the men
Freshman Aaron Pullin started the day with the second-best performance in school history in the men's heptathlon, and the Eastern Washington University men's and women's track and field teams finished the Candy Cane VIII with 13 titles and a pair of school records Saturday (Dec. 5) at Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash.
The Eagle men finished with four first-place finishes, and had two marks meet qualifying standards for the Big Sky Conference Indoor Championships. The women won nine titles and had seven qualifying marks.
Eastern split with Montana in dual meet scoring, beating the Grizzlies on the women's side 64-50 and losing in the men's competition by a 55-44 score.
"For this time of year, to have everybody come together and perform well is very exciting," said women's head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "This meet is really to see where we are, and to have that may people qualify for the conference championships already is great."
The Eagles continue the 2015-16 season on Jan. 15-16 at the University of Washington Preview at the Dempsey Indoor track and field facility in Seattle, Wash.
Men's Highlights . . .
Pullin won the seven-event heptathlon competition with 4,965 points, ranking second in school history behind the record of 5,222 points set in 2012 by Kersee Lind. Pullin, the first-day leader with 2,812 points, scored his most points Saturday in the 55-meter hurdles with a 8.16 time, and also had 673 points in the pole vault (13-9 1/4) and 687 in the 1,000 (2:57.67).
A double winner for the men was sophomore Aaron Cunningham in the weight throw (51-0 3/4) and shot put (50-2). Also victorious for the men was the school's 4x800-meter relay team with a time of 8:14.06. Besides Pullin, also qualifying for the Big Sky Championships was freshman Jonah Mathews with a time of 6.49 in the 55-meter dash.
Women's Highlights . . .
A day after Jozie Kimes set a school and fieldhouse record in the pentathlon (3,499 points), one other school record was broken Saturday. Katie Mahoney won the women's 600 with a time of 1:39.83, breaking the previous school and fieldhouse records of 1:40.57 set by current Eagle Janessa Day a year ago.
Among the women's winners was double winner Kaytlyn Coleman in the weight throw (59-11) and shot put (47-3 1/2). She qualified for the league championships in both events, and her mark in the shot put was a personal best and ranks third in school history.
Rebecca Tarbert won the 55 meters with a sizzling time of 6.99 seconds, the fastest in 12 years for an Eagle and also qualifying her for the Big Sky meet. She equaled Angel Davis for third in school history, and ranks only behind the school record of 6.95 held by Joyce Rainwater (1995) and Christian White (1996).
Tierra White won the high jump with a mark of 5-7, just 3/4 inch from her personal best last year that ranks fourth in school history. Dominque Butler won the women's triple jump with a jump of 37-0 1/4, Anandae Clark was victorious in the pole vault with an effort of 12-5 1/2 and Eastern's women's 4x800 meter relay won in a time of 9:39.28.
Kimes qualified Friday for the league championships in the heptathlon, and on Saturday she was joined by Coleman (two events), Tarbert, White, Clark and pole vaulter Elizabeth Prouty, whose effort of 12-5 1/2 ranks eight all-time at EWU.
More Comments from Women's Head Coach Marcia Mecklenburg . . .
"We had good performances across the board. Kaytlyn had some good performances in the shot and weight throw – one a PR. Rebecca ran a great race in the finals and had one of the top marks all-time at Eastern – we felt really good with that performance. Tierra also won the high jump and that was nearly a PR."
Comments from Men's Head Coach Stan Kerr . . .
On Youth: "(Pullin and Mathews) are both freshmen and those two guys really led the way. And sophomore Aaron Cunningham was a double winner, and helps give us great youth and a powerful, strong group. Our 4x800 team ran pretty much uncontested and didn't have anybody pushing them, but the effort that was there was a great example to the rest of the team."
On Competing in December: "It's just us and Montana, but the ambiance is like any other meet with fully automatic timing, officials and flagging, those types of things. The intensity is high, but not overwhelming for our student-athletes who have never been in a NCAA met. So we'll get those dividends from that experience, and we'll be better prepared the next time we have a competition. They have a better feel for what the conference standards are. They have a little bit deeper thinking about what we have to do to get ready and join that crowd that has already punched their tickets to Bozeman for a shot at a Big Sky title. We're very pleased, and looking forward getting back at it in January."
EWU Men's Qualifying Standards Met
55 Meters – 6.49 – Jonah Mathews
Heptathlon – 4,965 points – Aaron Pullin
EWU Women's Qualifying Standards Met
55 Meters – 6.99 – Rebecca Tarbert
High Jump – 5-7 – Tierra White
Weight Throw – 59-11 - Kaytlyn Coleman
Shot Put – 47-3 1/2 - Kaytlyn Coleman
Pole Vault – 12-5 1/2 – Anandae Clark
Pole Vault – 12-5 1/2 – Elizabeth Prouty
Pentathlon – 3,499 points - Jozie Kimes