Eastern thrower looks to finish on top at home

Photo contributed by goeags.com

Photo contributed by goeags.com

By Fetlew Gebreziabher, Online Sports Editor

After injuries sidelined him in high school from playing football and problems with his baseball coaches during his sophomore year, EWU senior hammer thrower Jordan Arakawa found himself searching for a new sport to play.

His girlfriend Olivia Midles, who is also an EWU senior thrower, introduced him to what would be his new passion. Arakawa began hammer throwing during his junior year in high school

“I was a football and a baseball player until midway through high school,” said Arakawa. “With occurring injuries, I decided to take a non-contact sport and baseball I didn’t get along with the coaches too well and so I tried track and I was kind of thinking, ‘Should I run, should I jump, should I throw?’ And my girlfriend was like, ‘You should throw because I throw’ and I was like okay.”

Mildes was a standout hammer thrower at their high school in Olympia, Washington. Mildes’ father helped coached Arakawa and also was the one responsible for giving Arakawa a chance to be a student-athlete at EWU.

“Her dad was also the one who reached out to coach [Marcia Mecklenburg] telling her, ‘You should take a look at this guy. He has a real passion for this. You should maybe took a look at him.’ Coach [Mecklenburg] really took that to heart and offered me a scholarship,” said Arakawa.

Arakawa was able to catch on to his new field of events pretty quickly, making it to state his junior year in discus throwing and beginning to throw hammer his senior year.

According to goeags.com, Arakawa’s career outdoor best at EWU with the hammer throwing is 219-3 mark and 156-2 with the discus.

Though he comes from a baseball family, Arakawa’s family fully supported his decision to participate in track. Growing up in Olympia, Arakawa describes his life as a “stable household with typical teenage issues.” Awaraka’s brother was also a baseball player in high school and is now studying physics at Central Washington University.

Awaraka said having his girlfriend with him at EWU helped his transition to college from high school. He said having her being able to be there to support her is very important and helpful.

When asked who was a better thrower, Arakawa said they both have “different strengths.”

“I would say I have more power and she is definitely more about speed.”

Though Arakawa enjoys and has a passion for track and hammer throwing, his ultimate goal in life is to go to medical school. The biology major student said he hopes to further his education to become a pediatrician, pediatric surgeon or a general surgeon.

Arakawa is currently the student athlete of the week and holds a 3.93 GPA.

He will look to beat EWU’s school record at the 2015 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships May 13 to 16 hosted by Eastern at Roos Field.

“[Arakawa] is keenly aware that he has finished second for two years in a row. He’s very fired up. He’s progressed from week-to-week,” said men’s head coach Stan Kerr. “He’s positioned himself to go into the championships as a favorite. He wants to get that ring at home.”