Track finishes strong, awaits conference championship


Sophomore Keshun McGee jumps during the 2017 outdoor season. McGee placed first in the long jump and second in the triple jump at the Husky Classic | Photo courtesy of EWU Athletics

By Taylor Newquist, Contributor

The EWU track and field teams finished their indoor regular season last weekend at the Husky Classic in Seattle. The Eagles had six top-three finishes, led by sophomore jumper Keshun McGee with first place in the long jump at a mark of 24-2 1/2 feet and second place in the triple jump at a mark of 51-9 3/4 feet.

“Keshun put together two stellar performances in the long and triple jump that were a joy to watch,” men’s head coach Stan Kerr said. “His athleticism and drive are speaking volumes right now.”

EWU senior runner Jeremy VanAssche finished third in the 60 meters with a time of 6.85 seconds, fourth on EWU’s all-time list.

Senior Jeremy VanAssche at a 2017 meet. VanAssche finished third in the 60 meters in 6.85 seconds at the Husky Classic | Photo courtesy of EWU Athletics

“After a lengthy stretch during this indoor season, it was outstanding for Jeremy VanAssche to show why he is a conference champion with today’s sprint final,” said Kerr.

The men’s team also had strong performances from junior Parker Bowden, who finished sixth in the 60-meter hurdles, and freshman Reggie Hayden, who placed fourth in the triple jump.

Senior runner Leanne Asper finished No. 20 in the 800-meters at a time of 2:11.21 minutes. Asper broke the EWU record in the event, previously held by Caitlin Prunty at 2:12.48 minutes in 2005.

“Leanne Asper gets the performance of the meet for us, women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg said. “She is having a great season in the 800 and 400 events.”

Senior sprinter Rebecca Tarbert finished third in the 60 meters at 7.57 seconds, putting her at first place in the Big Sky.

Freshman athlete Alexis Rolan competed well in multiple events, finishing behind Tarbert by .04 seconds in the 60-meters, and grabbing fifth place. Rolan finished third in the 200-meters at a time of 24.79 seconds, and second place in the long jump at 18-9 1/4 feet.

“Rebecca Tarbert won the team battle in the 60 meters,” said Mecklenburg. “It is so exciting to watch Rebecca and Alexis Rolan race. Kudos to Alexis, though for her performance in the 200 and the long jump.”

The Eagles will compete next at the Big Sky Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships in Flagstaff, Arizona, Feb. 22-25.

“We are heading into taper time as we get ready for the Indoor Big Sky Conference Championships,” said Mecklenburg. “As always, the goal is to head into the championship meet recovered, healthy and ready to compete.”