EWU track and field shines despite April showers at the War XI at SFCC


Junior runner Parker Bowden Jr. participates in the 110-meter hurdles at the War XI in Spokane Falls Community College on April 7. Bowden placed second in the event with a time of 14.74 seconds, just .01 seconds behind the first place runner | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Taylor Newquist, Reporter

The EWU track and field team fought through heavy rain to compete in the War XI at Spokane Falls Community College last weekend. The Eagles finished the meet with seven first-place titles, despite some prominent athletes sitting out events.

The women’s team’s top sprinters, freshman Alexis Rolan and senior Rebecca Tarbert, did not compete in any individual events, but placed first in the 4×100 relay alongside sophomore Sophie Bowles and freshman Bella Millsap. Bowles also finished fourth in the 200-meters at a time of 25.86 seconds.

“The 4×100 relay got the baton around the track first,” women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg said. “Sophie Bowles did a pretty good job considering it was a long, wet and cold wait between the relay and the 200.”

The women’s throwers dominated the event with seven top three finishes. Six of the top eight spots in the hammer throw were Eagles: junior Madison Doepker in first at 166-6 feet, senior Sam Lester in second at 166-4 feet and junior Justean Landis in third at 165 feet. Senior Paris Flenoy took second place in the shot put at 41-4 1/4 feet, and freshman Vernice Keyes took second in the discus at 131-11 feet.

“We swept in the hammer throw, and this week the win went to Madison Doepker,” said Mecklenburg. “If we take the hammer out of the mix, the freshman stole the show with Vernice Keyes in the discus and Chrissy Fitzgerald in the javelin.”

The men’s throwers, meanwhile, had four top three finishes. Sophomore Tim Beard took first place in the hammer throw at 186-9 feet and junior Shawn Buck finished in second at 179-7 feet. Senior Scott Miller placed first in shot put with a throw of 49-4 1/4 feet, and third in discus at 152-0 feet.

“Today, shot put went decently well considering all the rain and the elements we had to deal with,” Miller said. “Discus, not so much. I just didn’t ever connect with one, not really happy with it at all.”  

Senior thrower Scott Miller shot puts during the Buc Scoring Meet on March 17. At the War XI on April 7, Miller took first place in the shot put (49-4 1/4 feet) and in the discus (152-0 feet) | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

Miller said at this point in the season he is most focused on the discus. He was part of a small group of Eagles that traveled to compete in the Texas Relays the week before where he placed ninth in group B for the discus. He is ranked fourth in the Big Sky Conference for the discus throw and fourth in shot put.

Junior runner Parker Bowden Jr. placed second in the men’s 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.74 seconds. Bowden ran stride-for-stride with a runner in the lane next to him, and in a contentious finish missed first place by .01 seconds.

“I had a good start and got out well,” Bowden said. “I still have some things to work on. Once I get to about halfway through the race I have some things that get a little bit sloppy.”

Bowden said that his legs were feeling a little bit tight before the race, and that the weather is a mental barrier that he must adapt to and overcome.

“It’s always fun to run in this environment, if you just push through it,” said Bowden.

Eagle runners continued a strong day with senior Logan Stahl finishing first in the 800-meters at 1:51.55 minutes. As a result of the personal-best, Stahl was named Big Sky Track Athlete of the Week for the first time.

Sophomore Dawson Lack placed first in the 100-meters at 11.03 seconds, and fourth in the 200-meters at 22.26 seconds.

“Logan Stahl arguably had one of the strongest performances with his stellar race,” men’s head coach Stan Kerr said. “Dawson Lack also had a personal record, which given the race conditions, was a great surprise.”

Freshman Joe Gauthier finished the 100-meters in third place at 11.23 seconds. He is fifth in the Big Sky Conference and leads the team in the 100-meters.

“My finish was bad and I started to lock up and get tight so I didn’t run as good as I should have,” said Gauthier, who took first place in the 100-meter dash at the Al Manuel Northwest Dual in Montana on April 6. “It was pouring down rain earlier and it’s just kind of cold now so I hope next week is better.”

The Eagles host their only home meet of the season this weekend on April 13 and 14. The 46th Annual Pelluer Invitation will start in Cheney on Friday at 2 p.m. with the discus.

Remaining field events will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, with running events starting at 1 p.m.