Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What we missed over the weekend...

In the midst of scrambling this past weekend, here's what we've missed:

Erica Chaney (left/photo courtesy Eastern Washington University) from the Eastern Washington University track team inched her way toward a possible berth in the NCAA Championships as she broke the school record in the shot put Saturday (Feb. 5) at the Bronco Open in Nampa, Idaho.

With a toss of 51-7, Chaney surpassed the 20-year-old record of 50-11, which was set by Nancy Kuiper in 1991. That throw may have also earned the senior from Spokane, Wash. (Gonzaga Prep '06), a trip to College Station, Texas, to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships March 11-12.

Although her metric mark of 15.74 meters did not meet the automatic standard of 16.90, women's head coach Marcia Mecklenburg hopes her mark will rank high enough to garner an at-large berth. Those berths are given to participants at the end of the regular season in order to fill a minimum 14-person field in the event.

"This was a long time coming for Erica," Mecklenburg said. "I knew she always had it in her, and I'm happy she finally achieved it."

Chaney, who had already qualified in the weight throw, improved her season-best mark in that event as well. She placed fourth with a mark of 57-5 3/4.

Complete results from the Bronco Open are available here…

The USTFCCCA announced its weekly rankings for both Division I and II Tuesday. The UW men are ranked 20th in the Division I poll.

In the Division II poll, Western Washington is ranked #11 in the women's poll and #20 in the men's poll. Seattle Pacific is ranked #23.

Gonzaga's Chris Boyle finished 40th in the open men's race at the USA Cross Country Championships in San Diego, clocking 39:00 for the 12k course. Teammate Andrew Walker finished 65th in 41:22.

Former Colorado standout Brent Vaughn won his first national title, running 35:46.

Speaking of the Zags comes a disturbing report, posted on KREM-TV's site that two Gonzaga runners were hit by by a car last Saturday night by a vehicle while crossing the street near the school campus.

Spokane police say it was 33-year-old Sarah Burford that hit the two athletes while driving under the influence of alcohol. She appeared in court Monday on two counts of vehicular assault and was then released.

You can read the full story and see the video here.

Finally, one of the followers of the blog, Ken Goe of the Oregonian, has a great take on USATF president Stephanie Hightower's state of the sport report.

He contends, "If track and field ever is going to regain its foothold in the U.S. sports scene, somebody is going to have to care about the people who buy tickets and tune into televised meets."

"That isn't going to happen as long as the USATF thinks of itself as an insular organization existing primarily to cater to participants in the sport."

You can read his post here.

NOTE:  The sports information office at Eastern Washington University,  and the USTFCCCA contributed to this report.

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