Eagles host Big Sky rival Montana for a dual meet to open the indoor track and field season
The Eastern Washington University track and field teams will see their first competition at home this Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5, when they host the Candy Cane VIII at the Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse in Cheney, Wash. Admission to the event is free.
Competition will begin on Friday with the women's pentathlon starting at 11 a.m. and the men's heptathlon will begin at 11:30 a.m. The men's heptathlon will finish on Saturday with events starting at 9 a.m. Individual field events will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. with running events to follow at 12:30 p.m. on a rolling schedule. The meet will feature dual meet scoring between Eastern and Montana.
"As usual we are very excited about the Candy Cane – it's a great way to cap the fall training season with a meet that potentially qualifies you for the conference championships or the national championships depending on your marks," said head men's coach Stan Kerr. "It's the eighth Candy Cane meet already so we are looking forward to laying some groundwork to see how we can celebrate Candy Cane ten in a couple of years."
"I am really excited about the Candy Cane," said head women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg. "It's a fun meet for our athletes. It's a meet where they have trained all fall and it's an opportunity to see where they are at. For pretty much all of the athletes, it's the end of a training cycle so they will have tapered off a little bit for the meet so it will help their performances. I think that will be fun to see where they are at and it will be good for the coaching staff to see."
At last year's Candy Cane VII, Montana swept the Eagles, 58-49 in women's team scoring and 46-34 for the men. Among EWU's returning women's first place finishers from last year's meet are sophomore Rebecca Tarbert (55 meters, 7.20), junior Anandae Clark (pole vault, 11-11 3/4), senior Kayla Loop (weight throw, 55-5 1/4), and senior Jozie Kimes (pentathlon, 3359 points).The returning winner for the men's team is sophomore Jeremy VanAssche (55 meters, 6.52).
"It is very fan friendly, the athletes enjoy it and the field house isn't very big," continued Kerr. "We don't really have the seating to host a sell-out crowd, which is a point we would like to get to in the future. It is a very highly competitive and cordial meet but there is a great underlying river of intensity that is going through the athletes. These are great athletes in the Big Sky Conference."