Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eagles head to Flagstaff and Redhawks to Illinois, while pros race in Albuquerque...

While Washington and Washington State are in Seattle for the MPSF Championships, Eastern Washington heads to Flagstaff, Arizona for the Big Sky Championships, led by pole vaulter Keisa Monterola and 400 meter runner Brad Wall (photo illustration courtesy Eastern Washington University).

“I expect the women to finish in the upper half,” said Eastern women's coach Marcia Mecklenburg. “I know we don’t have a lot of depth, but we have great individuals, and hopefully the mid-level athletes can step up and get us some points.”

“I’m looking for people to have their best performance of the season,” said men's coach Stan Kerr. “If that happens, great things will happen from a team point of view. Our men’s team feels like we will be finishing in the top three.”

Though he is currently ranked third in the conference going into the meet, Wall is the three-time Big Sky champion in the 400.

Eastern’s top individual is Monterola – who has already broken the conference record in the pole vault (14-4), qualified for NCAA Nationals and won three Big Sky Field Athlete of the Week Awards. She is not only looking to add to her already impressive résumé with a win in the pole vault, but Eastern coaches are also optimistic she will hit the Olympic B qualifying mark (14-5 1/4) to assure her a spot on Venezuela's team for this summer's Olympics in London.

“Since we’re going to be at a high altitude, I think Keisa will get the Olympic B standard,” said Mecklenburg. “I’m expecting her to win conference as well, but you never know what’s going to happen. The vault is a very competitive event, but she is definitely the best one out there.

You can read Eastern Washington's full release here.

SeattleU heads to Sterling, Illinois for the Great West Conference meet Saturday and Sunday, led by distance runners Erik Barkhaus and Matthew McClement, who are the conference leaders in the 5000.

On the women's side, senior Sarah Bolce leads the Redhawks into the championship meet ranked #3 in the mile and the 3000.

SeattleU's release is available here.

Several local pros head to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the USA Indoor championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center Saturday and Sunday.

USA Track & Field will webcast the meet, and will televise the meet Sunday from 7:30-9:30 pm, eastern time on ESPN2.

Among those looking to make the team to go to Istanbul, Turkey for the IAAF world championships in two weeks are Kevin Hicks (800); Bernard Lagat (3000); Brad Walker, Jason Colwick and Scott Roth (pole vault); Norris Frederick (long jump); and Michael Mai (weight).

On the women's side, Katie Mackey and Rose Wetzel (1500); Lois Keller (3000); and Blessing Ufodiama (triple jump) are among those trying to punch their tickets for Istanbul.

The complete declared entry lists are available here.

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