Monday, May 21, 2018

WEEKEND ROUNDUP: Hannah Cunliffe third at adidas Boost Boston 150 dash...

While we were traveling home from the Tucson Elite, here’s a rundown of what happened Sunday:

In Boston, Federal Way’s Hannah Cunliffe (left/photo by Mike Scott) finished third in the 150 meter dash at the adidas Boost Boston Games, contested on the streets of Boston between the Boston Common and the Public Garden.

Cunliffe ran 16.95, as Jamaica’s Shaunae Miller-Uibo took the win in 16.23.

The results link is available here.

In Chula Vista, California, Pullman resident Katie Nageotte won the pole vault competition at the Chula Vista High Performance meet at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center.

Nageotte won with a best of 15-5.5 (4.71m) as she tunes up for next weekend’s Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.

The results are available here.

Finally, University of Washington alum Gianna Woodruff was third in the 400 hurdles at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix meet in Osaka, Japan.

Woodruff ran a season best 56.05, as Arizona alum Sage Watson of Canada won in 55.58.

The results of the Seiko Golden Grand Prix meet are available here.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Katie Reichert takes fifth in javelin at Tucson Elite...

TUCSON—Western Washington alums Katie Reichert (above/photo by Paul Merca) and Bethany Drake finished fifth and sixth in the women’s javelin at the Tucson Elite throws meet Saturday night at Drachman Stadium.

Reichert, who did not compete in the Thursday night portion of the meet, threw a best of 162-6 (49.55m) in the sixth and final round.

Drake, who threw 165-0 (50.30m) Thursday night to finish fifth, only managed to throw 161-7 (49.27m).

University of Arizona freshman Kaelyn Carlson-Shipley, a product of Kalama HS, finished ninth with a best of 147-3 (44.90m),

2017 world championships team member Ariana Ince won the competition with a best of 189-10 (57.88m).

In the men’s javelin, Washington alum Kyle Nielsen finished eighth with a best of 229-5 (69.93m) as Michael Shuey took the victory with a mark of 256-5 (78.17m).

The best event of the competition came in the mens’ shot put, which was won by reigning world champion Tom Walsh of New Zealand, who threw 71-3.5 (21.73m), followed by 2016 US Olympian and 2017 IAAF Diamond League champ Darrell Hill at 70-2.5 (21.40m), and American Jonathan Jones at 67-9 (20.65m).

Complete results of the Tucson Elite meet are available here.

In Boston, Washington alum Eleanor Fulton finished eighth in the women’s 1500 at the adidas Boost Boston Games at Steinbrenner Stadium on the campus of MIT.

Fulton, who resides in Portland, ran 4:21.86, as Dawit Seyaum of Ethiopia won in 4:04.65.

Sunday, Federal Way native Hannah Cunliffe runs in the 150 meters, as the adidas Boost Boston Games moves to the streets of Boston in this unique format.

The results from Saturday and start lists for Sunday’s portion of the adidas Boost Boston Games are available here.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Greg Metcalf steps down as head track and cross country coach at the University of Washington...

SEATTLE—The University of Washington announced Friday that head track and field coach Greg Metcalf (above/photo by Paul Merca) is stepping away from his position, after agreeing to a mutual separation with the school.

In the UW press release, Metcalf said, "I have decided that it is in the best interest of the program for me to step down. I want to thank the UW community who has made the past two decades such a special experience for me and my family."

Metcalf, who ran for the Huskies in the late 1980s-early 1990s, brought success to the Washington program, primarily with a distance-based track and field team.  His greatest success during his tenure came in the 2008 season when the Washington women brought home its first ever NCAA championship in cross country.

However, the Washington program has been plagued by questions, particularly with high profile athletes leaving the team, with the most recent being Charlotte Prouse, who transferred to the University of New Mexico, where she helped the Lobos win an NCAA cross country crown last fall.

There were rumors after the 2014-15 season, that Metcalf’s job was in jeopardy, after several male distance runners transferred to other schools.  However, those rumors were laid to rest after a successful 2016 track season, in which the Husky men finished second in the Pac-12 championships at Husky Track, thanks to wins by Aaron Nelson in the steeple, Colby Gilbert in the 5000, and Izaic Yorks in the 1500.

At those Pac-12 championships, the men’s distance group especially had unprecedented success this weekend, scoring a total of 60 points over the 800m, 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m, and 3,000m steeplechase.

In contrast, the 2018 version of the Huskies had no winners, and an eighth place finish on the men’s side, and a ninth place finish in the women’s side.

"Greg poured tremendous passion and energy into his work, and I am grateful for his many years of service to the University of Washington," UW Director of Athletics Jennifer Cohen said. "I wish him the best moving forward."

Besides his work with the team, Metcalf has made Seattle a go-to destination during the indoor season, with numerous teams and high-profile individuals willing to come to Seattle to race at Washington’s Dempsey Indoor facility. Those high profile individuals include numerous world and Olympic medalists, none of whom received appearance fees or travel expenses to compete in Seattle. In fact, Metcalf often said that those athletes had to pay their entry fees, just like everyone else.

paulmerca.blogspot.com received a text from UW sports information spokesman Mike Bruscas stating that associate head coach Jason Drake will be the interim head coach for the NCAA West Regionals and the NCAA championships.

Washington will go into next week’s regionals in Sacramento with 25 men’s and women’s entries, with six male runners from 800 and above and five female runners from 1500 meters and up.

While there will be a plethora of questions asked in the next few weeks, one of the biggest short term questions surrounding the program is what athletes on the current team will transfer to other schools (assuming that the current assistant coaches are replaced by the new head coach), and what incoming recruits will elect to stay at Washington.

The school will begin a national search for Metcalf’s successor immediately.

paulmerca.blogspot.com attempted to reach Metcalf for comment without success.  This is a developing story and will be updated.

The school's press release is available here.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

UW alum Mel Lawrence finishes second in steeple at USATF Distance Classic...

LOS ANGELES—University of Washington alum Mel Lawrence (left/photo by Paul Merca) finished second in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase to highlight competition in the USATF Distance Classic at Jack Kemp Stadium on the campus of Occidental College Thursday night.

Lawrence, who lives in Bend, Oregon, ran 9:44.80, as 2012 US Olympian Shalaya Kipp won in a time of 9:44.34.

Former Emerald Ridge HS standout and two-time world championships competitor Hassan Mead was third in the mens’ 1500, running 3:38.32, as Johnny Gregorek won in 3:36.95.

Brannon Kidder of the Brooks Beasts was 11th in 3:39.96.

Henry Wynne of the Brooks Beasts was fourth in the men’s 800, running 1:48.36, as Craig Engels of the Nike Oregon Project won in 1:47.40.

In the women’s 1500, fellow UW alum Eleanor Fulton was eighth in a time of 4:13.46, as Shannon Osika won in 4:09.38.

Savannah Colón of the Brooks Beasts was fourth in her heat of the women’s 1500, finishing in 4:18.30.

Complete results of the USATF Distance Classic are available here.

In Tucson, Arizona, Western Washington alum Bethany Drake was fifth in the women’s javelin at the Tucson Elite throws meet at Drachman Stadium, hosted by the University of Arizona.

Drake threw 165-0, well off her season best set two weeks ago at the Ken Shannon Invitational in Seattle.

Mexico’s Mariana Castro won with a best of 179-4 (54.67m).

In the men’s javelin, Washington alum Kyle Nielsen finished eighth with a best of 217-9 (66.39m), as David Carreon of Mexico won with a best of 267-2 (81.45m).

In the women's discus, Jordan Spradlin from Montesano, who is being redshirted this year at the University of Arizona, finished eighth with a toss of 158-4 (48.28m), a mark good enough to qualify for the USATF U-20 championships next month.

The meet resumes Saturday for the throwers.

Complete day 1 results of the Tucson Elite are available here.

NOTE:  Flash Results, USA Track & Field, and Finished Results contributed to this report.

GNAC heptathlon and long jump champ Renick Meyer leads group of Washington collegians to NCAA D2 champs...

INDIANAPOLIS—The NCAA announced Tuesday the field for next week’s NCAA Division II national track & field championships at the Irwin Belk Complex in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Seattle Pacific’s Renick Meyer (above/photo courtesy SPU Athletics) is the only athlete from the four Washington schools entered in two events at the nationals, as she will go in both the long jump and the heptathlon.

Here are the entries by school:

Central Washington:  Kodiak Landis (decathlon), Ali Anderson (400m Hurdles), Halle Irvine (Pole Vault), HarLee Ortega (Heptathlon), Alexa Shindruk (10,000 Meters), Nicole Soleim (Steeplechase), Mariyah Vongsaveng (100m Hurdles), Erykah Weems (400m Hurdles);

Saint Martin’s: Brian Chalkey (javelin); Deanna Avalos (javelin), Liz Larson (hammer);

Seattle Pacific: Scout Cai (Heptathlon), Mary Charleson (1,500 Meters), Kate Lilly (1,500 Meters), Renick Meyer (Long Jump, Heptathlon);

Western Washington: Alex Barry (javelin); Anna Paradee (Pole Vault), Raquel Pellecer (Javelin), Natalie Vetto (Javelin).

The complete list of selected athletes, along with the link to live results are available here.

NOTE:  The Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Seattle Pacific University, and the NCAA contributed to this report.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Area pros set for meets at Occidental and Tucson...

With one month left before the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, many of the area’s pros are competing Thursday at the USATF Distance Classic at Jack Kemp Stadium in Los Angeles on the campus of Occidental College, and at the Tucson Elite throws meet in Tucson, hosted by the University of Arizona.

Entered at Oxy are Baylee Mires (left/photo by Paul Merca) in the 800, Brannon Kidder (1500), Henry Wynne (1500), and Savannah Colón (1500) of the Brooks Beasts; Camas’ Alexa Efraimson (1500); Washington alum Eleanor Fulton (1500); Washington alums Aaron Nelson and Mel Lawrence (steeple)

In Tucson, Western Washington alums Bethany Drake and Katie Reichert, along with Washington alum Kyle Nielsen are entered in the Tucson Elite meet Thursday and Saturday in the javelin.

The link to entries for Thursday’s USATF Distance Classic is available here; the entries for the Tucson Elite are available here.

USATF.tv ($) will stream the USATF Distance Classic meet starting at 6 pm; the Saturday portion of the Tucson Elite meet will be streamed via its Instagram and Twitter accounts.

NOTE:  USA Track & Field, the University of Arizona, and Finished Results contributed to this report.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

WSU freshman Sander Moldau wins Pac-12 pole vault title...

STANFORD, California—Washington State freshman pole vaulter Sander Moldau (left/photo by Paul Merca) overcame the tricky winds to win the men’s pole vault at the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships Sunday afternoon at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University.

The native of Estonia cleared 17-feet 2 1/4 inches (5.24m) to win the pole vault, the eighth time a WSU competitor has won the conference title in this event but the first time since 1995, when Christos Pallakis was victorious.

Moldau needed only one attempt at the three bars of 16-6 1/2 (5.04m), 16-10 1/4 (5.14m) and his winning height of 17-2 1/4 (5.24m). He missed on all three of his attempts at a final height of 17-7 (5.36m).

The WSU men's team was seventh with 56.5 points and the women's team was tenth with 26 points.

Washington's men's squad placed eighth out of the 10 teams with 42 points, while Oregon won the team title with 174 points, the fourth most in conference history.

USC ended Oregon's run of nine women's team titles, scoring 170 for first while the Huskies were ninth out of the 12 teams, finishing ahead of Washington State, Oregon State, and Utah.

Sophomore Nick Johnson led a trio of Cougars men scoring in the 110m hurdles. Johnson was the runner-up with a wind-aided PR time of 13.84 seconds with seventh in a time of 15.50w.

WSU’s Brock Eager was not able to repeat as the men's hammer champion, finishing second by a mere 21 inches. Eager threw 218-feet 1 inch (66.47m) and USC's Nathan Bultman threw 219-10 (67.01m) to win the title.

The University of Washington’s lone podium (top 3) finish in Sunday’s meet came from Amy-Eloise Neale in the women’s 1500,

Neale reached the Pac-12 track podium for the second time in her career after taking second in the 5,000-meters last year. As the 1,500m final went off, the field dragged badly through one lap until Neale went around the outside and up to the lead to start making it a respectable pace.

The senior from Snohomish via Great Britain led until the bell lap when Jessica Hull of Oregon took the lead. Neale was in fourth with 150 meters to go and kicked past one runner but Hull and Christina Aragon of Stanford had pulled too far away, with Neale taking third in 4:24.44.

Washington had near misses on the podium, as 400 hurdler Hanna Tarleton, and both Husky 4 x 400 relay teams finished fourth.

Tarleton, the senior transfer from Bellingham who ran in the NCAA championships in 2015 for Division III Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, ran 58.62

Tarleton combined with Carolyn Birkenfeld, Iman Brown, and Imani Apostol to win their section of the 4 x 400 relay in 3:38.03, the third fastest time in school history.

In the meet’s final event, the Husky men followed that up with a season-best time by three seconds, running 3:08.81 to take fourth overall, running a squad comprised of Kemuel Santana, Evan Mafilas, Michael Thomas, and Ryan Croson,

Reflecting on the day, WSU vault coach and current American record holder Brad Walker said, "Sander was definitely the most composed vaulter in the field today. The winds were really gusty and changing directions frequently, but Sander had no problems committing to the jump and had no misses until after he had won the competition. It's pretty rare for a freshman to be so solid in a big championship, but there was never a point where I didn't feel like he was in control of the competition."

"I liked the way we competed down the stretch today, especially with great fourth-place finishes for both of our 4x4 relays," said Husky head coach Greg Metcalf. "Overall, we left some points on the board this weekend, but with such a young group and so many kids competing at their first Pac-12s, I think they learned a lot. They will have an opportunity now to grow from this and come back better."

The results from the Pac-12 championships are available here.

Washington State’s recap is here, while Washington’s release is available here.

NOTE:  The sports information office of the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the Pac-12 Conference contributed to this report.

Andrew Gardner's stretch run in steeplechase comes up short at Pac-12s...

STANFORD, California—University of Washington senior Andrew Gardner (above/photo by Paul Merca) was part of one of the most exciting finishes of the day at the Pac-12 Track & Field Championships Saturday afternoon at Cobb Track and Angell Field on the campus of Stanford University.

Gardner was up front with defending champion Bailey Roth of Arizona and Steven Fahy of host Stanford with one lap to go, when he moved to take command of the race.

Coming off the final water jump, he had a stride lead over Fahy, but as he came off the turn and onto the straightaway, Fahy began a late charge.

Whether or not he heard Fahy’s footsteps, Gardner appeared to either mistime his approach to the final barrier or hesitated for a moment before approaching the barrier.

That moment was enough for Fahy to charge over the barrier, and beat Gardner to the line, with Fahy finishing first in 8:50.07, and Gardner in second at 8:50.71.

Washington State’s Kyler Little was sixth in 9:04.02, while the Huskies’ Julius Diehr was seventh at 9:06.51.

In the men’s 10000, Spokane native Tanner Anderson earned his second straight runner-up finish, as the University of Oregon sophomore ran 29:39.64 behind Stanford’s Jack Keelan.

The Cougars’ Molly Scharmann was the team’s top placer on the day, as she cleared a personal best 13-8.25 (4.17m).

Behind Scharmann were Washington sophomore Annika Dayton, who was fifth at the same height, and Husky teammate Tori Franzen, who was sixth at 13-2.25 (4.02m).

In qualifying races Saturday, Washington advanced Amy-Eloise Neale and Allie Schadler in the women’s 1500; Colby Gilbert in the men’s 1500; Connor Morello and Devan Kirk in the men’s 800; and Hanna Tarleton in the women’s 400 hurdles.

Washington State advanced Zach Smith in the 200; Chandler Teigen in the 1500; and Christapherson Grant in the 400 hurdles; and Kaili Keefe in the 1500; Alissa Brooks-Johnson in the 100 hurdles; and Brooks-Johnson, and Stephanie Cho in the 400 hurdles.

After 6 scored events in the men’s competition, Stanford leads Oregon by five, 48-43.  Washington is eighth with 16, and Washington State ninth with 7 points.

In the women’s team competition, Stanford holds a 71-44 lead over USC.  Washington is sixth with 23 points, and Washington State is 12th with 8 points.

The results from the Pac-12 championships are available here.

In Monmouth, Oregon, Seattle Pacific left no doubt who was winning the women’s team title at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship meet Saturday, as they rode on the backs of Renick Meyer and Grace Bley to snatch their ninth conference crown.

Meyer provided 18 more points for the Falcons on Saturday as she won the 100 meters in 12.16 seconds and finished second in the 100-meter hurdles in 14.13 seconds. The performances, combined with her heptathlon win last week and her win in the long jump on Friday, gave Meyer a share of the Field Athlete of the Meet Award. Bley, meanwhile, won the 200 meters with a surge over the final 15 meters to outlast Marie Ries of Alaska Anchorage with a time of 24.70 seconds.

Meyer and Bley opened the day with teammates Julia Stepper and Becca Houk in winning the 4x100-meter relay. Their meet-record time of 46.60 seconds surpassed the previous record of 46.60 seconds set by Alaska Anchorage in 2014.

The three titles helped Seattle Pacific win the team title with a score of 154.5 points. Central Washington and Concordia tied for second place at 121 points. Western Washington was fourth at 105 points, while Saint Martin’s was ninth at 23.5 points.

In the men’s team competition, Concordia used the strength of its throwers to win its first conference crown.

Western Washington finished second with 127 points. Central Washington finished third with 123 points, while Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific trailed in ninth and tenth with 20 and 13 points, respectively.

Central Washington’s Kodiak Landis bounced back from a disappointing finish in the decathlon, and  tied a meet record in the 400 meters. His winning time of 47.55 seconds equaled the mark set by Ethan Hewitt of Alaska Anchorage in 2012. Zach Whittaker added a title in the triple jump with a mark of 48 feet, 0.5 inches.

Western Washington’s Cordell Cummings added a 110-meter hurdles title to his 400-meter hurdles trophy from 2017, outlasting Central Washington’s Braydon Maier for the title with a time of 14.97 seconds.

Maier was recognized as the Field Athlete of the Meet. Maier won the decathlon last week and then won the pole vault on Friday. He returned on Saturday to take second in the 110-meter hurdles in 15.08 seconds.

Complete results of the GNAC championships are available here.

At the Western Athletic Conference championship meet in Lawrence, Kansas, Olivia Stein’s second place finish in the women’s 5000 was the lone bright spot Saturday.

Stein, the 10000 champion Thursday, ran 17:36.82 to finish over five seconds behind winner Hannah Branch of Utah Valley’s 17:31.64.

In the mens’ team competition, the Redhawks finished sixth with 22 points, while the SeattleU women also finished sixth with 38 points.

Complete results of the WAC championship meet are available here.

In Shanghai, China, Drew Windle of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts finished tenth in the mens’ 800 Saturday, as the IAAF Diamond League made its second stop of the season-long international tour in the Chinese city.

Windle ran 1:47.77, as Kenya’s Wycliffe Kinyamal won in a meet record 1:43.91.

The IAAF Diamond League makes its next international stop in Eugene in two weeks, as Hayward Field hosts the Nike Prefontaine Classic.

Complete results of the IAAF Diamond League Shanghai stop are available here.

NOTE:  The sports information office of the University of Washington, Washington State University, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the Pac-12, the Western Athletic Conference and the IAAF contributed to this report.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The rundown on Championship Friday (GNAC & WAC)...

MOSCOW, Idaho—It’s been a long last two days here in Moscow, as I’ve concluded my announcing duties at the Big Sky track and field championships, hosted by the University of Idaho.

The stretch of track meets continues, as I head down to Palo Alto from Moscow to cover the Pac-12 track and field championships today and tomorrow, before returning home to Seattle.

For all of Washington’s Division I and II schools, this weekend is conference championship weekend, and here’s a recap of what went down Friday:

In Monmouth, Oregon, Seattle Pacific’s Renick Meyer (left/photo by Paul Merca), a native of Gresham, Oregon, won the women’s long jump title at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship, hosted by Western Oregon, with a best of 19-4.75 (5.91m) to outdistance Central Washington’s HarLee Ortega, who had a best of 18-5.25 (5.64m).

In other finals contested Friday, Maddie Taylor of Western Washington won the women’s high jump on fewer misses at 5-5.25 (1.66m), the same mark as Geneva Lehnert of Seattle Pacific, while Falcon teammate Scout Cai was part of a 4-way tie for third at 5-3.25 (1.65m).

In the women’s 10000, Western Washington’s Sophia Galvez finished second in 37:11.23, while Central’s Alexa Shindruk was third at 37:19.98.

Megan Vernoy of Saint Martin’s was third in the discus with a throw of 145-4 (44.30m)

Pole vaulter Braydon Maier (15-6.25/4.73m) and 10000 runner Josh Boston (32:08.40) each earned victories for Central Washington in the finals of those events.

Peter Butler (32:09.95) of Western Washington was second in the 10000, while teammate Adam Thomas (14-6.25/4.43m) was third in the pole vault.

Seven Dances of Western Washington picked up a third place finish in the long jump with a leap of 22-1.5 (6.74m).

Ethan Tonder of Central Washington was third in the men’s shot put with a toss of 51-1.75 (15.59m).

After seven events in the men’s team race, Concordia leads with 63 points, with Central Washington second at 59, and Western Washington third with 48.

Thanks to big points in the shot and discus, Concordia leads the women’s team competition with 71 points, with Seattle Pacific second at 49.5 and Central Washington third at 38, and Western Washington fourth at 37.

The women’s team race is expected to come down to a battle between Seattle Pacific and Central Washington.  Recall that the indoor team championship resulted in a tie between the two schools.

The live results from the GNAC championships are available here.

In Lawrence, Kansas, Seattle University’s Johanna Erickson was the only Redhawk to earn a top-3 podium finish at the Western Athletic Conference championship meet Friday.

Erickson ran 11:16.69 to finish third in the women’s 3000 steeplechase, on what was a disappointing day for the Redhawks.

Eli Boudouris, one of the WAC’s top steeplechasers entering the conference championship meet, ran to a fourth place finish in the men’s race, clocking 9:36.66.

He injured himself on Wednesday during a shakeout run, according to a text sent to paulmerca.blogspot.com by SeattleU coach Kelly Sullivan.

Boudouris was running on a gravel trail, when he slipped and hit his knee during the fall, injuring himself to the point where he decided only 45 minutes before the race to compete and give it a shot.

The championships continue Saturday.

Results from the WAC championships are available here.

NOTE: The Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the Western Athletic Conference contributed to this report.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Eagle men's 4 x 100 relay and Rebecca Tarbert win Big Sky titles at conference championships...

MOSCOW, Idaho—Eastern Washington’s 4 x 100 meter relay team, anchored by Jeremy VanAssche (above/photo courtesy EWU Athletics) set a school record en route to winning the Big Sky Track & Field championship in that event Friday at the Dan O’Brien Track & Field Complex on the campus of the University of Idaho.

On an uncharacteristically cool and overcast May afternoon in the Palouse region, the team of Joe Gauthier, Jonah Mathews, Dawson Lack and VanAssche got to a great start, and with smooth handoffs on all three legs, put pressure on Northern Arizona and North Dakota to win comfortably in 40.39, with NAU second at 40.75, and North Dakota third at 41.36.

In the 100-meter dash, VanAssche ran the fastest time in school history by taking second with a time of 10.29, aided by a wind of 4.5 meters per second. He also owned the previous record with a time of 10.31 in 2016. Three other Eagles also competed in the 100, including Mathews in fourth (10.58), Gauthier in fifth (10.61) and Lack in sixth (10.71).

Senior Logan Stahl earned All-Big Sky honors in the 800 meters, finishing second with a time of 1:52.49, which is the second-best finish in school history at the championships.

Sophomore Keshun McGee continued his success from Thursday (May 10) by earning another medal in the triple jump, placing second with a mark of 51-6 1/4 (15.70m).

Hammer thrower Tim Beard was third with a mark of 190-4 (58.02m).

On the women’s side, Rebecca Tarbert took home the 100 meter title, running 11.64, aided by a +2.9 mps wind.

Two Eagles earned All-Big Sky honors in the pole vault with juniors Macey Weitz and Elizabeth Prouty placing third with a clearance of 12-8 1/4 (3.87m). Junior Paris Flenoy also earned the honors with a third-place finish in the shot put, throwing a personal-record of 47-7 3/4 (14.52m).

Junior Madison Doepker took home All-Big Sky honors, placing third in the javelin with a throw of 147-11 (45.08m).

The men finished fourth out of 12 teams with 92 points. On the women's side, EWU took sixth with 61 points.  Northern Arizona swept both the men’s and women’s team titles.

The Eagles did take some hits before and during the meet, as defending indoor pole vault champ Larry Still was hurt before the meet, and freshman sprinter Alexis Rolan, the conference’s top short sprinter, pulled her hamstring in the women’s 4 x 100 relay.  She gamely started the 100 meter final, walking the 100 meter distance in order to get the Eagles one point.

Next up for the Eagles is the NCAA Western Regionals in Sacramento in two weeks.

Complete results from the Big Sky Conference championships are available here.

NOTE: The Big Sky Conference, Eastern Washington University and Finished Results contributed to this report.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Keshun McGee wins Big Sky long jump title for Eagles...

MOSCOW, Idaho—Eastern Washington sophomore Keshun McGee (left/photo by Paul Merca) took control of the men’s long jump competition early, as he won the competition to highlight the Eagles’ day at the Big Sky Track & Field championships Thursday at the Dan O’Brien Track & Field Complex on the campus of the University of Idaho.

McGee, jumping in the second flight, put pressure on the field early with a first round jump of 24-9.75 (7.56m) to take the lead.

Sacramento State’s Cory Barger answered with a first round mark of 24-8.25 (7.52m), but could not quite catch McGee.

In the fifth round, McGee extended his lead to 24-10.5 (7.58m) to seal the victory, and a personal best to boot.

Eagle senior Trenton Osborn finished eighth in the competition with a best of 23-8 (7.22m), on a cool, cloudy but windy day in the Palouse.

In the women’s 3000 steeplechase, Eagle senior Paula Gil-Echevarria from Spain hung with the lead group for most of the race, but finished third in 10:33.36, as Portland State’s Sarah Medved won in 10:30.35.

This is the third time that the senior has been given the honors, as she took third in the same event in 2015 and 2016.

In Thursday’s qualifying heats, a total of 14 Eagles advance to the finals on Friday, including four in the men’s 100-meter dash.

Senior Jeremy VanAssche took third (10.58), junior Jonah Mathews placed fourth (10.65), sophomore Dawson Lack earned sixth (10.721) with freshman Joe Gauthier right behind him in seventh (10.726). VanAssche also advanced in the 200 meters, placing seventh with a time of 21.61 in the prelims.

After seven events in the men’s competition, the Eagles stand seventh with 22 points, while in the women’s competition, Eastern is tied for ninth with 13 points.

Montana State is the men’s leader with 44 points, while North Dakota leads the women’s competition at 52 points.

Fourteen events remain to be contested Friday.

Complete results from the Big Sky Conference championships are available here.

SEATTLE U's OLIVIA STEIN WINS WAC 10000 TITLE...

In Lawrence, Kansas, Seattle University’s Olivia Stein won the Western Athletic Conference 10000 meter title Thursday.

Stein ran 35:51.29 to outdistance runner-up McKayla Walker of Utah Valley by almost 25 seconds, as Walker crossed in 36:15.44.

In the men’s 10000, the Redhawks’ Collin Olson finished sixth in 33:52.23.

The link to the live results for the WAC Championships is available here.

NOTE: The Big Sky Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Eastern Washington University and Finished Results contributed to this report.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

EWU's Quintin Porterfield gets Eagles on scoreboard in Big Sky Championships...

MOSCOW, Idaho—Eastern Washington freshman Quintin Porterfield finished eighth in the decathlon competition at the Big Sky Championships Wednesday at the Dan O’Brien Track & Field Complex on the campus of the University of Idaho.

Porterfield ran 16.27 in the 110 hurdles, then threw the discus 89-0 (27.13m).

He then pole vaulted 11-2.25 (3.41m), then threw the javelin 125-0 (38.09m), before running the 1500 in 4:57.24.

Sophomore Forrest Wallace also competed, placing 10th overall with 5,657 points, moving up from 13th at the break. He took second in both the javelin (158-3/48.25m) and the 1,500 meters (4:34.02).

Donte Robinson of Portland State was the overall winner with 7307 points.

In the women’s heptathlon, Eagle freshman Jessica Linde (above/photo courtesy EWU Athletics) placed ninth with 4,319 points. Her best finish was in the 800-meter run, placing third with a time of 2:25.51, good for 750 points. Freshman Cierra Kohlman also competed on the women's side, taking 13th overall with 3,732 points.

Idaho State’s Ashley Vanvleet won the heptathlon title with 5105 points.

The Big Sky release is available here, with links to results.

NOTE: The Big Sky Conference, Eastern Washington University and Finished Results contributed to this report.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Eagle freshman Quintin Porterfield sixth after five events at Big Sky decathlon...

MOSCOW, Idaho—Eastern Washington’s Quintin Porterfield (left/photo courtesy EWU Athletics) stands sixth at the break in the decathlon competition as the Big Sky Championships began Tuesday at the Dan O’Brien Track & Field Complex on the campus of the University of Idaho.

Porterfield, a freshman from East Wenatchee, had his strongest performances in the two running events, taking second in the 100 (10.99) and fourth in the 400 (49.68).

In between, he long jumped 21-3.5 (6.49m), threw the shot 38-11 (11.86m), and high jumped 5-7.75 (1.72m).

Eagle sophomore Forrest Wallace stands 13th at 2997 points. He ran 11.92 in the 100, long jumped 18-8.75 (5.71m), threw the shot 29-1.75 (8.88m), and ran 54.50 in the 400.

Wallace’s best performance of the day came in the high jump, where he was in a 3-way tie for first at 6-5 (1.96m).

Mason Storm of Montana State is the leader after five events at 3884 points, winning the first three events—the 100, long jump & shot put.

In the women’s heptathlon, Eagle freshmen Jessica Linde (2603) and Cierra Kohlman (2160) are in 12th & 15th place, respectively.

Portland State freshman Kristen O’Handley is the leader after four events with 3062 points.

Complete results of the Big Sky Championships are available here.

paulmerca.blogspot.com will have on-site coverage of the Big Sky Championships beginning Thursday.

NOTE: The University of Idaho and Finished Results contributed to this report.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Alissa Brooks-Johnson claims third career Pac-12 heptathlon crown...

PALO ALTO—Alissa Brooks-Johnson of Washington State (above/photo courtesy WSU Athletics) won her third career heptathlon title Sunday at the Pac-12 Multi Events championships at Cobb Track and Angela Field on the campus of Stanford University.

Brooks-Johnson, a redshirt senior from Doty, scored a personal best 5977 points to outdistance UCLA’s Kendall Gustafson, who scored 5886 points to take second, and Arizona’s Alyssa Thompson, who grabbed third with 5761 points.

Brooks-Johnson, who led at the break with 3568 points, opened the day with a personal best in the long jump of 19-feet, 4 inches (5.89m). She then threw a season-best javelin distance of 136-6 (41.60m) but UCLA's Kendall Gustafson took the overall heptathlon lead after throwing the javelin 152-9 (46.56m) bringing her six-event total to 5122, 40 points ahead of Brooks-Johnson's 5082.

In the final event, the 800m, Brooks-Johnson ran a time of 2 minutes 14.82 seconds while Gustafson's time was 2:24.39, providing Brooks-Johnson 131 more points and according her the conference heptathlon title for the second consecutive year, along with the third best score in the collegiate ranks this season.

Brooks-Johnson had lifetime-best marks in five of the seven events in addition to her finally tally of 5,977 points which is second-best in WSU's all-time records, trailing only Olympian Diana Pickler's 6,205 points tallied at the 2007 NCAA Championships.

WSU’s Lindsey Schauble finished ninth among the 15 competitors with a PR total of 4,952 points. Schauble had scored a first day PR of 2,989 points and was in 10th place starting Sunday's events. She long jumped a season-best wind-aided distance of 17-11 3/4 (5.48m), threw the javelin 99-8 (30.39m) and ran the 800m in a PR time of 2:22.27.

Washington’s Hannah Rusnak, a native of Lynden, finished tenth, breaking the school freshman record by scoring 4934 points.

The previous UW freshman record was 4891 set by Angie Tasker in 1987.

Sitting in sixth at the break, Rusnak started things in the long jump where she jumped 17-2.75 (5.25m) for 628 points. She then finished seventh overall in the javelin with a best of 120-5 (36.71m) for 604 points. She finished running a season-best 800-meter time of 2:37.86 for 598 points.

Afterwards, Brooks-Johnson, the three-time Pac-12 champion said, "This whole weekend was such a great experience and competition! I had a great first day with four PRs. I've been waiting a while for this type of hep and competition, so I'm glad it came together at conference. I still have lots of points left on the track and I'm excited to see what I can do at nationals!"

Brooks-Johnson joins former Cougar Ellannee Richardson (2001-03), Stanford’s Tracye Lawyer (1997-99), Arizona State’s Jacquelyn Johnson (2004, 2006, 2008) and Oregon’s Brianne Theisen (2009-10, 2012) as the only three-time winners of the event.

Stanford’s Harrison Williams was an easy winner of the men’s decathlon with a final total of 7925 points.

The Pac-12 track & field championships resume Saturday and Sunday at Stanford. paulmerca.blogspot.com will have on-site coverage of the meet.

Overall results from the Pac-12 Multi-Events championships are available here.

WEEKEND ROUNDUP

On Saturday, the Huskies tuned up for next weekend’s Pac-12 championships under sunny skies at the Ken Shannon Invitational at Husky Track.

Washington athletes won 14 events during the meet, which consisted primarily of teams and individuals from the Northwest region.

The best mark of the day was set by Canadian Olympian Mike Mason in the high jump, as he tied his own facility record, clearing 7-5 (2.26m) on his second attempt.

In the women’s pole vault, Washington’s Annika Dayton set a personal best of 13-4.25 (4.07m) to beat UW alum Kristina Owsinski (13-2.25/4.02m).

UW’s recap of the meet is available here, while results are available here.

Friday, Eastern Washington sent a group of athletes to Missoula, Montana for the Tom Gage Last Chance meet to give those on the bubble an opportunity to state their case to be on the team that competes at Thursday and Friday’s Big Sky Conference championship meet in Moscow, Idaho.

In the women’s pole vault, junior Elizabeth Prouty and senior Erin Clark tied for first in the event with a clearance of 12-2 3/4 (3.73m). Senior Macey Weitz also had the same mark, but placed third due to a tiebreaker.

Eastern’s meet recap is available here, while complete results of the Tom Gage Last Chance meet are available here.

Finally, Bellevue native Katie Burnett, the American record holder in the women’s 50-kilometer walk, did not finish the race at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Saturday in Taicang, China.

Burnett started the race in the low teens, and was 19th at 25 kilometers, which she passed in 2:14.01, but began falling back, and dropped out after the 30k mark.

China’s Rui Liang won in a new world record of 4:04:36.

The home page of the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships can be accessed here.

NOTE:  The Pac-12, the IAAF, and the sports information offices at Eastern Washington, the University of Montana, Washington State University and the University of Washington contributed to this report.

WSU's Alissa Brooks-Johnson leads Pac-12 heptathlon at the break...

PALO ALTO—Two time conference heptathlon champ Alissa Brooks-Johnson (above/photo courtesy WSU Athletics) of Washington State leads the event at the break after the first day of competition at the Pac-12 Multi Events championships Saturday at Cobb Track and Angela Field on the campus of Stanford University.

Brooks-Johnson, a redshirt senior from Doty, Wash., reached a lifetime-best first day heptathlon total of 3,568 points, 168 points above her previous PR and five points ahead of the next competitor, Kendall Gustafson of UCLA.

Brooks-Johnson opened the 2018 conference meet by running the 100m hurdles in a PR time of 13.68 seconds which is sixth-best in WSU all-time records. She high jumped a PR height of 5-feet 8 1/2 inches (1.74m), threw the shot put a PR distance of 41-2 1/4 (12.55m), and ran the 200m in a wind-aided PR time of 24.40. Brooks-Johnson's previous first day PR total was 3,400 points, set last month in Azusa.

Washington freshman Hannah Rusnak sits sixth out of the 15 competitors and is the only non-junior or senior in the top-11. Rusnak's day one score of 3,104 points started with a 100m hurdles time of 14.27 seconds that ranked fifth in the field.

Rusnak then matched her high jump best at 5-0.25 (1.53m) and then moved up the standings with a third-place shot put finish at 39-5 (12.01m). She finished with a 200-meters season-best of 25.45 seconds that ranked eighth in that event.

Lindsey Schauble, a junior from Kennewick, Wash., scored a first day lifetime-best of 2,989 points for 10th place among the 15 competitors. Schauble opened the heptathlon with a season-best 100m hurdles time of 15.01, high jumped 5-5 (1.65m), threw the shot put a PR distance of 35-4 3/4 (10.79m), and finished the day with a 200m dash time of 26.28.

In the decathlon, WSU freshman Martin Moldau (Rakvere, Estonia) ran the 100m in a time of 11.27, long jumped 21-1 1/4 (6.43m), and threw the shot put 39-3 (11.96) but withdrew from the competition when he became ill and could not continue in the high jump or 400m dash.

Washington did not send any athletes to compete in the Pac-12 multi-event meet.

Stanford’s Harrison Williams leads at the break with a five-event total of 4071 points, 472 up on Colorado’s Andrew Ghizzone.

Day 1 results from the Pac-12 Multi-Events championships are available here.

Blog Archive