Windy conditions not a set back for EWU Track and Field


Anna Mills

Brandon Jimerson jumps for EWU at the Pelluer Invitational on April 11

By Brandon Cline, Staff Writer

The 25-miles-per-hour-wind at the 44th Pelluer Invitational on April 11 did not hold back the EWU track and field team, as a plethora of athletes set personal records, school records and qualifying marks for the Big Sky Conference Championships, which will be held later this season at EWU.

Playing host to the University of Montana and the University of Idaho, both the men’s and women’s teams went 2-0 against the conference foes. The men’s team defeated Montana, 102-49, and Idaho, 102-20, while the women edged out Montana 73.5-63 and took down Idaho 73.5-39.5.

It was a banner day in the discus for the women, as two qualifying marks were set and the previous school record in the event was broken twice. Freshman D’onna Robinson and junior Morgan Romey set qualifying marks with throws of 151-7 and 148-10, respectively. Senior Emma Murillo set a personal and school record with a throw of 169-0, while sophomore Kelsie Forcier’s throw of 160-5 was a personal best that now ranks second all-time in school history.

“Discus was awesome, it was a great event for Eastern today. We had four different athletes come away with personal bests and qualify for conference,” said women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “I am so excited for Emma and her nine-foot personal best. That’s huge, I love doing that on the home ring.”

Freshman Dominique Butler was the other Eagle to set a qualifying mark, with a jump of 38-5 1/2 in the triple jump, finishing second behind teammate Morena Mannucci. Butler is the 14th women to qualify for the conference championships and brings the total to 21 EWU athletes meeting 28 qualifying marks.

The men dominated the rest of the field, as senior Phil Puccino posted wins and personal records in both the high jump and long jump, while Cody Humphrey did the same in the shot put and the discus.

“Phil has put in a lot of years here, working hard and dealing with injuries, and now he has put himself in a position to have the kind of experience at the Big Sky Championships that you envision,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr. “He’s worked very hard to put himself in that position and now his performances are rewarding him.”

Other event winners for the men include Jordan Arakawa winning the hammer throw with a throw of 203-3, Jeremy VanAssche in both the 100 and 200-meter dash, Brad Michael in the 400-meter run and Nick Stearns in the pole vault. The 4×100-meter relay team also finished first with a time of 41.11 seconds.

“Today was a meet of surprises given the weather forecast. We thought the wind and the cold would play a bigger factor, but it goes to show that with a good attitude, persistence and good leadership, those elements didn’t distract our athletes from what they came to do today and they were rewarded with great performances,” said Kerr.

The team will split up this weekend with two events in California: the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut from April 15-18 and the Long Beach Invitational in Cerritos on April 17 and 18.