Erica Chaney broke the Eastern Washington record in the shot put and won her first Big Sky Conference title in the event as the conference track and field championships got under way in earnest Friday in Sacramento, Calif.
The Gonzaga Prep graduate needed a last-throw effort of 51 feet, three-quarters of an inch to propel her more than 2 feet past Big Sky indoor champ Andrea Behring of host Sacramento State. The throw added just less than 2 inches to the 20-year-old school mark set by Nancy Kuiper.
Eastern also got a strong 3-4 finish in the women’s long jump by Brianna Okoro (a wind-aided 19-7 1/2) and Krystal Deyo (19-4) and stood in third place after eight events with 38 points. The host Hornets are runaway leaders with 90.
On the men’s side, Kurt Williams of EWU got off a season-best 24- 1/4 leap for third in the long jump, and freshman Jordan Arakawa spun a 191-4 hammer throw for fourth. The Eagles are sixth in the scoring with 20 points, as Northern Arizona leads with 66.
Two other local athletes had strong showings – East Valley alum Nick Atwood of Montana State taking second in the 10,000 meters (30:13.97) and Lake City grad John Coyle of Weber State running an 8:50.83 for the runner-up spot in the 3,000 steeplechase.
• Marissa Tschida and Courtney Kirkwood finished 1-3 in the women’s javelin to highlight a slow day for Washington State at the Pacific-10 Conference championships in Tucson, Ariz.
The Cougars are ninth among men in the team standings, the women sixth.
Tschida launched a season best on her last throw with a 183-9 heave to repeat as champion. Kirkwood also had a last-attempt effort of 166-7, while EWU transfer Amanda Peterson of Washington was fourth at 166-0.
WSU’s Shawn Swartz cleared a season-high 6-11 in the high jump to take sixth on the men’s side, while Stephan Scott-Ellis was fifth in the long jump.
• Idaho’s Lauren Schaffer broke the meet record in the women’s 800 meters at the Western Athletic Conference championships in Honolulu, as the Vandal men and women both finished fifth. Utah State’s men and Louisiana Tech’s women cruised to team titles.
In defending her title, the Vandal junior clocked 2:04.53, not quite a full second under the 12-year-old standard, while teammate Keli Hall ran a lifetime best 2:11.94 for third.
Newcomer Liga Velvere won the women’s 400 hurdles in 58.81, and freshman Hannah Kiser ran to an easy victory in the 5,000 in 16:47.89.
Junior Barry Britt pulled off an impressive double for the Vandal men. In his first-ever 10,000 meters on Thursday night, he outkicked Utah State’s Kyle McKenna to win the title in 30:24.99. Then he doubled back Friday to win the 5,000 over Boise State’s Jeff Howard, a North Central graduate.
Marco Gonzales delivered a run-scoring single in the top of the ninth inning to break a tie and give Gonzaga University a 3-2 West Coast Conference win at Portland.
Royce Bollinger led off the ninth for GU with a double down the left-field line and was sacrificed to third by Clayton Eslick. Gonzales followed with his single to center.
Cody Martin pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to sew up the win for starting pitcher Ryan Carpenter (7-1) and the Bulldogs (27-14-1, 10-3 WCC).
Carpenter struck out nine Pilots (17-26, 6-7) and scattered six hits in collecting his fourth straight win.
• No. 2 Oregon State used a three-run fifth inning to squelch an upset bid by Washington and deal the Huskies a 6-4 loss in the opener of a weekend Pac-10 series in Seattle.
The Beavers (36-11, 15-4 Pac-10) moved two games in front in the conference. The Huskies (13-31, 4-15) got a run-scoring double from Joe Meggs in the third and a solo home run from B.K. Santy and a two-run double from Jacob Lamb in the fourth.
North Idaho College took a seven-run lead into the bottom of the seventh against Southern Idaho in an elimination game in the Region 18 tournament in Salt Lake City.
Three outs and the Cardinals would move on. They came up one short.
When the dust settled, CSI (42-18) had scored 10 runs, capping it with a walk-off grand slam to end the season for the Cardinals (33-26) on a 12-9 loss.
Five Cardinals had multiple-hit games, with Shelby Gonzales driving in four runs and Desirae Tinoco three.
• Freshman Kaitlin Inglesby belted her 11th home run, good for two runs in the first inning, for Washington (33-14, 8-12 Pac-10), but Oregon State (19-27, 2-18) scored two in the bottom of the eighth to knock off the No. 15 Huskies 4-3.
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