CHENEY—The Pelluer Invitational was supposed to be contested between three teams—host Eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
However, there was a fourth team that crashed the party—the wind, which at times gusted up to 25 miles an hour, and played havoc with those athletes looking for qualifying marks for next month’s Big Sky Conference championship meet on this same Roos Field track.
The Eagles battled through less than ideal weather conditions to win 20 events and prevail over Big Sky foes Montana and Idaho. The men's team defeated Montana 102-49 and Idaho 102-20, while the women's team grabbed victories over Montana 73.5 to 63 and Idaho 73.5 to 39.5.
Two of the big stars of the meet for the Eagles were jumper Phil Puccino (left/photo by Paul Merca) and thrower Emma Murillo.
Puccino won the high jump (6-9.75/2.08m) and the long jump (23-5.5/7.15m), with the latter an apparent Big Sky Conference leader except for the fact that there was no wind information.
Murillo set a new school record along with a meet record in the discus, spinning the platter 169-0 (51.52m) to put herself in the #2 spot in the conference.
2014 NCAA qualifier Jordan Arakawa won the hammer with his first throw over 200 feet this season, with a toss of 203-3 (61.96m).
Afterwards, head men’s coach Stan Kerr said about Puccino’s performances, "Phil has put in a lot of years here working hard and dealing with injuries, and now he has put himself in a position to have the kind of experience at the Big Sky Championships that you envision. He's worked very hard to put himself in that position and now his performances are rewarding him."
Women’s coach Marcia Mecklenburg, a former discus standout at Seattle Pacific, said, "Discus was awesome -- it was a great event for Eastern today. We had four different athletes come away with personal bests and qualify for conference. The top one of the bunch set a school record -- I am so excited for Emma and her nine foot personal best. That's huge, I love doing that on the home ring. We are excited because we will be hosting the Big Sky Championships, so the athletes now know what they can do in a meet situation on our rings. It's going to be a big confidence booster."