Eagles compete at Boise State and Huskey Classic

Jordan Arakawa with his hammer toss on the road.

Photo contributed by goeags.com

Jordan Arakawa with his hammer toss on the road.

By Elohino Theodore, Senior Reporter

The EWU track and field team split up into two different squads on Feb. 13-14 to compete at the Husky Classic and the Boise State Team Challenge.

“This is a marquee meet for our athletes,” said head men’s coach Stan Kerr in an interview with goeags.com about the importance of the Husky Classic. “Teams from the SEC, ACC and PAC-12 as well as many of the top individual athletes from other Big Sky schools competed hard and were rewarded with marks that will take them to their respective conference championships.”

Head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg explained why the teams were split up.

“The [Husky Classic] is a pretty high level meet,” said Mecklenburg. “So not all the athletes’ entries are expected into Seattle. You had to have pretty high performances to get into that meet.”

Mecklenburg said the Boise State Team Challenge was an opportunity for those athletes who were not going to Seattle to compete to improve their statistics.

At the first day of the Husky Classic in Seattle, Eastern had highlights from sophomore distance runners Sarah Reiter and Paula Gil-Echevarria and junior distance runners Katie Mahoney and Catie Arrigoni.

All four women’s distance runners set a new school record of 11:58.15 for the distance medley relay. The previous record was set in 2003, with a time of 12:10.77 by Caitlin Prunty, Lisa Harrison, Haley Heater and Jeanette Gardiner.

Mahoney also broke another school record, this time in the mile, finishing with a time of 4:51.85. Last month, the mile record was previously broken by her teammate, Gil-Echevarria who had a time of 4:54.55 in the mile at the Husky Classic.

Reiter had a personal-best time in the 3,000-meter race, with a time of 9:46.18. Reiter missed Kari McKay’s 1992 school record by only two seconds.

Junior distance runner Mayra Chavez came in second place in the 3,000-meter race at the Boise State Team Challenge, with a time of 10:13.93. Chavez now ranks eighth all-time in Eastern school history. Sophomore distance runner Katie Lynch ran a personal-best time of 2:19.66 in the 800-meter race.

Sophomore pole vaulter Erin Clark qualified for the Big Sky Conference with a personal best height of 12-0 1/2. She now ranks in eighth place in school history.

“[Reiter] ran a stellar 3,000 and [freshman sprinter] Rebecca Tarbert continues to be a force in the 60-meter dash,” said Mecklenburg in an interview with goeags.com. “The field events added some amazing performances of their own. [Junior thrower] Kaytlyn Coleman continues to improve in the weight throw. Across all event areas, this was by far our best meet of the year.”

Coleman had another personal best in the weight-throwing event, with a throw of 64-8 3/4. She is now ranked second in school history. Junior thrower Morgan Romey finished with a throw of 45-7 in the shot put; she is now eighth in school history.

Tarbert finished with a time of 7.60 in the 60-meter dash. She qualified for the Big Sky Conference, and her time now ranks second in school history.  Sophomore sprinter Janessa Day had a personal-best time of 57.42, qualifying her for EWU’s top ten list in the 400-meter dash.

Freshman jumper Tierra White recorded a personal best of 5-6 in the high jump event, good enough for fifth place in school history.

Junior pole vaulter Anandae Clark recorded a height of 13-0 1/4, for fourth place in school history. Sophomore pole vaulter Courtney Bray finished with the same height; this is her third meet in a row in which she cleared 13 feet.

On the men’s side, senior jumper Phillip Puccino qualified for the Big Sky conference indoor championships with a jump of 46-8 in the triple jump event. Senior thrower Jordan Arakawa placed third in the weight throwing event with a throw of 64-10 3/4. Sophomore sprinter Austin Upmeyer had a season best in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.32.

Kerr talked about preparation prior to the team going to Seattle and Boise and their plans for the Big Sky Indoor Championships.

“Heading into any competition, we tell our athletes to trust their training, follow their competition plan and believe in themselves and their teammates,” said Kerr.

As for the Big Sky Indoor Championships, Kerr said he hopes the team continues its hard work and believes the athletes will score at the conference championships.

With 20 qualifying marks, Eastern will compete at the Big Sky Indoor Championships from Feb. 26-28 in Flagstaff, Arizona. The Eagles will be heading there .