EWU track and field dominates at 2015 Vandal Invitational

By Brandon Cline, Staff Writer

The EWU track and field team travelled to Moscow, Idaho, on Jan. 23 to compete in the Idaho Collegiate meet against Gonzaga University and Big Sky rival University of Idaho, along with other local schools.

The women’s team dispatched both teams, beating Idaho, 85-31, and Gonzaga, 98-19. Freshman Rebecca Tarbert placed first in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.77 seconds, while finishing second in the 200-meter dash with a time of 26.06 seconds.

Janessa Day comfortably won the 400-meter dash, posting a time of 59.07 seconds.

“Rebecca and Janessa keep improving their marks in the 60 and the 400, respectively. It is great to see them do that with each meet we compete at,” said head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg.

In other individual running events, Katie Mahoney and Paula Gil-Echevarria finished first and second in the 800-meter run, and Sarah Reiter and Catie Arrigoni finished second and third in the one-mile run, earning the Eagles 12 points from those two events.

EWU women dominated the competition in field events as well. In the high jump, freshman Tierra White finished second with a jump of 5.5 feet, eighth-highest in EWU history. In the pole vault, Courtney Bray and Anandae Clark finished first and second, respectively, while Morena Mannucci breezed through the long jump and triple jump, winning both events by a wide margin.

In the weight throw, five of the top six finishers hailed from EWU, including first and second place finishers Kaytlyn Colman and Emma Murillo. EWU women placed first in 7 of 14 events, the most of any team.

“Overall, it was good to have the EWU team out in full force. Down the road it helps the youngsters when they can see the veterans not just competing, but competing to win,” said Mecklenburg.

EWU dominance translated into the men’s side as well, with EWU beating Idaho, 61-50, and Gonzaga, 67-23.

Freshmen Tyree Fort and Jeremy VanAssche finished second and third in the 60-meter dash, with Fort qualifying for the Big Sky Indoor Championships with a time of 6.97 seconds. VanAssche placed second in the 200-meter dash, with a time of 22.06 seconds. The only other EWU men’s runner to place at the meet was Austin Upmeyer, placing second in the 400-meter dash.

Redshirt freshman Aaron Cunningham impressed in the men’s shot put, finishing first with a distance of 50 feet. Senior Jordan Arakawa put up high numbers, winning the weight throw with a distance of 60 feet and one inch.

“Team-wise we did well. In particular, two freshmen led the way today. Aaron Cunningham had a solid outing in the shot put, while Tyree Fort, in his very first collegiate meet, ran the 60-meter dash with a time that ranks him seventh all-time indoors,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr.

“I feel the progress we’re making in all the event areas will soon result in adding to the group that has already qualified for the indoor conference championships.”