EWU Track and Field sets 14 qualifying marks over weekend

By Brandon Cline, Staff Writer

A busy weekend for the EWU track and field team culminated in 14 more qualifying marks for the Big Sky Outdoor Conference Championships, which will be held at Roos Field from May 13-16.

The Eagles won 17 events and met five qualifying marks at the Sam Adams Classic in Spokane on April 4. The day before in California, seven Eagles athletes made the trek to Palo Alto, California, for the Stanford Invitational and San Francisco Distance Carnival.

In Spokane, four of the five qualifying marks came in throwing events, three of which came from the women’s side. Morgan Romey qualified in the shot put, while Olivia Midles and Kaytlyn Coleman qualified and finished first and second in the hammer throw.

Cody Humphrey posted a qualifying mark in the discus after qualifying for the shot put earlier this season. Humphrey won both of the events on Saturday, as well.

Women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg said she was impressed with the throwers.

“Cody had a great throw in the discus. Morgan’s mark in the shot put puts her back in there. She has been struggling but she came through today and I am very pleased.”

Phil Puccino qualified for the conference championships in the long jump, the third event he’s qualified for in the outdoor season. A personal best of 22-11 3/4 in the long jump was enough to win the event. Puccino also took first in the high jump.

“It’s tough to qualify for one event, and he’s qualified for three,” said Mecklenburg.

EWU athletes finished first and second in the women’s 400-meter dash at the Sam Adams Classic, with Brooke Monson winning the event and Janessa Day finishing behind her. Monson ran a personal best of 56.34 seconds, which ranks third all-time at EWU.

Other winners for the Eagles include Morena Mannucci in the triple jump and long jump, Tierra White in the high jump, Rebecca Tarbert in the 200-meter dash, Nick Stearns in the pole vault, Obinna Nnadi in the 100-meter dash, Austin Upmeyer in the 200-meter dash, Aaron Brenton in the steeplechase and Jordan Arakawa in the hammer throw.

Down south, Sarah Reiter won the 5,000-meter run, setting a meet record at the San Francisco Distance Carnival as well as qualifying for the conference championships. Her time of 16:36.28 ranks second all-time in program history. Fellow event runner Berenice Penaloza also qualified for the conference championships and both cross-qualified for the 10,000 meter run.

All three women steeplechase runners — Katie Mahoney, Paula Gil-Echevarria and Catie Arrigoni — qualified for the conference championships in their season debut in the event.

Freshman Jeremy VanAssche qualified in the 100-meter dash, finishing with a time of 10.69 seconds. In the 400-meter dash, senior Brad Michael posted a time of 48.79 seconds, qualifying him for the conference championships.

“We are thrilled. Seven athletes competed and seven athletes qualified,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr. A total of 14 qualifying marks were set over the weekend by 12 athletes.

The Eagles return to Cheney for their only regular season home outdoor meet. The 44th Pelluer Invitational takes place April 11, with field events beginning at 10 a.m. and running events beginning at noon.