EWU track sets sights on Big Sky medals


Junior Parker Bowden participates in the 110-meter hurdles at the Pelluer Invitational on April 14. Bowden enters the Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships ranked tied for third in the event. | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Taylor Newquist, Reporter

The EWU track and field team travels to Moscow, Idaho this week to compete in The Big Sky Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at the University of Idaho.

The meet is held from April 8-11, with the first two days dedicated to the decathlon and heptathlon. Other events will start preliminary rounds on Thursday, and hold their finals on Friday.


The men’s team aims to improve on its 12th place team finish and 14 total points from the outdoor championships a year ago. During the indoor championships on Feb. 24, the team finished seventh in total points and had top three finishes from juniors Parker Bowden (second in 60-meter hurdles) and Larry Still (first in pole vault).

“It’s a killer meet,” men’s head coach Stan Kerr said. “It’s so competitive, but I would like to see if our guys can push top three. They’re a confident group and that’s something you really can’t teach. They’re confident, but not rude and can be a little cocky sometimes. Thats a nice edge to walk on and know you can do something special down there.”

Athlete Quotes

Senior Jeremy VanAssche

Events: 100 meters (No. 2 rank), 4-x-100 meter relay (No. 4): “I’m feeling pretty good,” VanAssche said. “As far as how good I do, I could go run well and PR. I mean as long as I run my best and have a good race I’ll be happy with wherever I end up at, but winning it too would be nice.”  

Junior Parker Bowden

Event: 110 meter hurdles (T-No. 3 rank): “I feel ready,” said Bowden. “It’s been a long season, but I think everyone’s getting tuned up this week, I’m just ready to perform. I’m hoping to try and come back with a Big Sky title, try to get a PR and maybe a school record, we’ll see I feel good.

4×100 men’s relay (ranked No. 4)

Junior Jonah Mathews (No. 5 rank in 100 meters): “I think we’re sleepers for sure,” Matthews said. “Honestly I think we’re going to walk away with a dub.”

Freshman Joe Gauthier (No. 8 rank in 100 meters):  “I think we could [win] if we get those hand-offs off right,” Gauthier said.



The women’s team finished the 2017 outdoor championships in eighth place, and finished fourth in the indoor championships this year. Women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg said at the time that she thought the fourth through tenth ranked teams were evenly matched and that the difference was in the Eagles pole vaulters, who she dubbed the team’s ‘bread and butter’ and sprinting crew who she called the ‘meat and potatoes.’

“This will be the closest we have ever had a Big Sky Conference Championship other than when we host,” said Mecklenburg. “I think it will work to our advantage not to have to travel a long distance to the meet. We have some quality athletes in most of the event areas, but our real strength will be in the short sprints and pole vault. We are at taper time with training and we are relatively healthy, so I think we are ready. It is go time.”

Athlete Quotes

Freshman Alexis Rolan

Events: 100 meters (No. 1 rank), 200 meters (No. 5), 4-x-100 meter relay (No. 6), long jump (No. 3): “I’m really looking forward to it,” Rolan said. “I definitely want to get all off my times faster. I mean of course I want to win the 100 [meter dash], and the 200 [meter dash] I’m going in fourth I think, but coming back in second or first would be good for me.”

Senior Erin Clark

Event: Pole vault (No. 2 rank): “The Big Sky is one where going in the rankings don’t really matter,” Clark said. “You have to go in with everything you got. I expect to do well, obviously I want to be on top of that podium, but I could see a PR from a lot of girls on the team.”

Senior Rebecca Tarbert

Events: 100 meters (No. 2 rank), 200 meters (No. 8), 4-x-100 meter relay (No. 6): “I am very excited,” Tarbert said. “I’m hoping to PR in both of my events and just go out with a bang for my last meet ever.”

Men’s Top-ranked Athletes

Junior Larry Still: 1st, Pole vault (16-7 1/2)

Sophomore Keshun McGee: 2nd, Triple jump (51-4 1/4); 5th, Long jump (24-3)

Senior Jeremy VanAssche: 2nd, 100m (10.39)

Junior Parker Bowden: 3rd, 110m hurdles (14.38); 10th, Long jump (23-2)

Senior Logan Stahl: 3rd, 800m (1:50.72)

Sophomore Tim Beard: 3rd, Hammer (194-7)

4×100 relay: 4th (41.05)

4×400 relay: 5th, (3:19.52)

Junior Jonah Mathews: 5th, 100m (10.71)

Freshman Gavin Lee: 5th, Javelin (193-8)

Senior Scott Miller: 5th, Discus (169-7); 8th, Shot put (53-10 1/4)

Sophomore Trey McAdams: 7th, 400m hurdles (54.23); 8th, 400m (48.56)

Senior Trenton Osborn: 8th, Long jump (23-5 1/4)

Junior Shawn Buck: 8th, Hammer (180-10)

Freshman Joe Gauthier: 8th, 100m (10.75)

Junior Aaron Pullin: 8th, Pole vault (15-2 1/4)

Junior Chez Jackson: 9th, Long jump (23-2 1/2)

Freshman Quinton Porterfield: 10th, Decathlon (5,884)


Women’s Top-ranked Athletes

Freshman Alexis Rolan: 1st, 100m (11.65); 5th, 200m (24.30); 3rd, Long jump (19-5 1/2)

Senior Rebecca Tarbert: 2nd, 100m (11.84); 8th, 200m (24.44)

Senior Erin Clark: 2nd, Pole vault (13-3 1/2)

Sophomore Madison Doepker: 3rd, Javelin (149-3); 9th, Hammer (175-11)

Senior Macey Weitz: 3rd, Pole vault (12-11 3/4)

Senior Kari Hamilton: 3rd, 10,000m (34:09.85)

Senior Paula Gil-Echevarria: 4th, 3,000m steeplechase (10:27.41)

Junior Samantha Raines: T5th, Pole vault (12-9 1/2)

Junior Elizabeth Prouty: T5th, Pole vault (12-9 1/2)

4×100 relay: T6th (47.12)

Senior Tierra White: 8th, High jump (5-7)

Senior Leanne Asper: 8th, 800m (2:10.61)

Junior Paris Flenoy: 9th, Shot put (45-1 1/2); 9th, Discus (146-7

Junior Emma Chappell: 9th, Javelin (140-7)

Junior Sam Lester: 10th, Discus (146-2)

Freshman Jessica Linde: 10th, Heptathlon (3,736)