The Eastern Washington University track and field team opened up the outdoor season by earning 15 Big Sky Conference qualifying marks at the Dusty Lane Open March 16 in Spokane.
“We knew we had a strong outdoor team,” head women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg said. “So getting that number of marks early on is a good indicator of us having a pretty good crew.”
On the women’s side the Eagles prospered in the javelin. Michelle Coombs’ throw of 146 feet, 5 inches topped the team. Coombs was followed by Eagle volleyball standout Cora Kellerman (143-5), Kacie Seims (137-3) and Emma Murillo (134-10) as each booked their tickets for the Big Sky outdoor championships.
Freshman Anandae Clark had a mark of 12-3 ½ inches in the pole vault, qualifying her for conference. Senior Elise Jepsen cleared the conference qualifying height of 5-5 in the high jump, placing second.
Olivia Midles grabbed a qualifying mark in the hammer throw, getting off a toss of 165-10. Murillo qualified in a second event as well, throwing the discus 141-8.
On the men’s side, senior Brad Wall, who ran in his first meet for the Eagles in over a year, won the 400 with a Big Sky qualifying time of 47.95 seconds.
“Brad was heads and tails one of the bright spots of the meet for us,” men’s head coach Brad Kerr said. “That was an outstanding opener for him.”
Junior Steven Warner qualified in the 110 hurdles, winning the event in a time of 14.4. Kramer Green hit the qualifying standard in the 400 hurdles, running 54.85 to place second.
Freshman Joey Payne got off a throw of 205-9 in the javelin to earn a bid to the conference meet.“To qualify in your very first collegiate meet is remarkable and I don’t think Joey knows how rare that is,” Kerr said.
Jordan Arakawa had a personal-best throw of 196-8 in the hammer to qualify for the BSC Championships.
Senior Marlyn Anderson earned a qualifying standard in the shot put, hitting an outdoor personal-best mark of 54-4 3/4. Sophomore Nick Stearns cleared 15-5 in the pole vault to qualify too.
Eastern will take the spring break off and return to competition full strength at the Al Manuel Invitational March 29-30.