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Locally: Eastern Washington track and field coaches Stan Kerr, Marcia Mecklenburg and Dave Nielsen announce retirement

UPDATED: Wed., June 8, 2022

Eastern Washington head track and field coaches Marcia Mecklenburg (women’s), left, and Stan Kerr (men’s) announced their retirement after 27 years with the programs.  (Courtesy EWU Athletics)
Eastern Washington head track and field coaches Marcia Mecklenburg (women’s), left, and Stan Kerr (men’s) announced their retirement after 27 years with the programs. (Courtesy EWU Athletics)
From staff and news services

After 27 years as the head track and field coaches at Eastern Washington University, Stan Kerr and Marcia Mecklenburg have announced their retirements.

And Dave Nielsen, who has spent five years on the track and field staff at Eastern after 31 years at Idaho State, also announced he will retire.

Mecklenburg came to Eastern in the fall of 1995, with Kerr joining her in a full-time capacity in January 1996. Mecklenburg was the women’s head coach and coached the men’s and women’s throwers, while Kerr coached the men’s team and oversaw all the hurdlers and sprinters.

In their time together, they saw 441 Eagles earn All-Big Sky Conference honors.

Kerr’s men’s team has had two NCAA All-Americans, 64 individual Big Sky champions and 10 relay titles. Mecklenburg’s women’s program has had three All-Americans, 50 individual Big Sky champions and five relays titles, and she’s had one men’s NCAA javelin All-American.

“We want to wish Stan, Marcia and Dave congratulations as they move into retirement,” said Director of Athletes Lynn Hickey. “Their years of service to the sport of track and field, and specifically to Eastern Washington University, is outstanding.

“They have been tireless workers for our department and for their students. They were always positive and very enthusiastic about their teams and have been role models in their daily display of loyalty and resilience in running their programs.

“Both Marcia and Stan spent almost the entirety of their coaching careers with us, which in this day of college athletics, is very rare and extremely commendable.”

“Dave was a great addition these past few years and brought a high level of expertise and work ethic to our established staff,” added Hickey.

Combined, the trio has 90 years of coaching experience.

Kerr first came to Eastern as an undergraduate in fall 1977, earned his bachelor in 1980 and returned as a graduate assistant coach from 1991-93 while earning his master’s degree.

After he left Eastern in 1993, Kerr became the head men’s coach at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, leaving there when he returned to EWU take the men’s job.

A Pacific Northwest native and former state champion at Edmonds-Woodway High School in the Seattle area, Mecklenburg received her bachelor’s degree from Seattle Pacific in 1979 and her master’s from Montana State in 1991. She competed four times in the AIAW women’s National Championships in the shot put and discus while at SPU.

She took over at EWU after nine seasons as an assistant at Washington State University, where she coached All-America athletes in the shot put, discus and javelin, including the 1987 and 1988 NCAA discus champion.

Before joining the Cougars coaching staff in 1986, Mecklenburg was an assistant coach for five seasons at Montana State and also coached at Seattle Pacific. She has extensive strength and conditioning coaching experience and was an assistant coach for the United States at the 1997 Indoor World Championships.

Nielsen was head coach at Idaho State for 31 years and retired in March of 2016. He came out of retirement to join the Eagles in 2017-18. In his five years coaching the jumps and multis at Eastern, 16 Eagles athletes have earned All-Big Sky honors.

College scene

Shamrock Campbell, a two-sport star at Carroll College from Ferris HS, finished 22nd in the men’s triple jump (46 feet, 7¼ inches) at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on May 27 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

It was the final outing at Carroll for Campbell before he transfers to Point Loma Nazarene in San Diego to complete his basketball eligibility. It was the third time he qualified for the track & field nationals, placing as high in the triple jump as 11th in 2021.

• Seven athletes with area ties were named to 201-22 All-Frontier Conference Outdoor Track & Field teams.

Men: Campbell, jumps; Elias Hill (Lake City), sophomore, Carroll, sprints and relays; Ian Barville (University), so., Montana Tech, middle distance and relays; Justin Krabbenhoft (Selkirk), freshman, Providence, hurdles, jumps and relays.

Women: Kate Picanco (Lewis and Clark), junior, Carroll, relays and sprints; Brooklyn Schultz (Mt. Spokane), fr., (Carroll), relays; Chloe Bryntesen (Central Valley), fr., Rocky Mountain, relays.

High school scene

Amanda Stewart of Spokane, a graduate of North Central HS and Whitworth University, was named the KingCo 2A Girls Golf Coach of the Year after leading Sammamish (Washington) High School to the King County league championship in her first year as head coach.

The Redhawks also received the league sportsmanship award, placed eight on all-conference teams and sent one player to the state championship.


Chase Harrington, the Spokane Chiefs’ first-round selection in the 2022 Western Hockey League Prospects Draft last month, signed a standard player agreement last week, the Chiefs announced.

The 14-year-old forward from Prince George, British Columbia, a 6-foot, 160-pound winger, the eighth pick overall, will first be eligible to play full time for the Chiefs in the 2023-24 season.

Harrington had a productive 2021-22 season. He compiled 64 points (35 goals, 29 assists) in 34 regular season and playoff games for a Delta Hockey Academy U15 team and 13 points (7G, 6A) in the regular season and playoffs for a Delta U16 team. He also played in the 2022 World Youth Championships for Western Canada, collecting two goals and six assists in seven games.


Mike Yellin, an 18-year member of the Spokane Softball Umpires Association working his first state tournament, drew the plate assignment in the Class 2B third-fourth-place game at the State 1B/2B softball tournaments May 28 in Yakima.

In a 1B semifinal, Yellin was on third base. One of his partners was Laurie Kulp from Colville Valley, who was on first base.

“Laurie started umpiring over 30 years ago, then took a leave to follow her daughters playing softball through the community college level,” said Bruce Richartz, the Colville Valley assigner. “Now an empty nester, she has returned to umpire a sport she is passionate about.”

They are two of 19 area officials who worked Washington state softball and state-level baseball games Memorial Day weekend.

Other softball officials:

Palouse association: Dave Bakken of Moscow, State 1B/2B.

Spokane association: Ron Snyder, State 4A (Spokane); Rich Hobson, State 3A (Lacey); Marty Boles, State 2A (Selah); Bob Robertson, State 1A (Richland); Thom Sutton, State 1B/2B; Kathleen Burns, State 4A umpire in chief.


Palouse: Rick Oates of Pullman, State 2B (Ridgefield); Tayler Parsons of Moscow, Regional 2B (Spokane).

Spokane: Kevin Wellington, State 3A/4A (Richland); Paul Sorensen, State 1A/2A (Yakima); Rob Bartlett, Regional 1B (Walla Walla); Dwaine Schettler, Regional 2A (Yakima); Kevin Wolfe, Regional 1A (Spokane); John Rupe, Regional 2B (Moses Lake); Frank Wintersteen, Regional 1A (Wenatchee); Jamison Edwards, Regional 4A (Richland); Jeff Barrington, Regional 2B (Spokane).


Two players with area ties are among four transfers Whitworth University coach Bob Castle added to the Pirates this spring.

Infielders Katie McKinnis from Mt. Spokane and Kennedy Robison from Jenkins HS of Chewelah are both transferring from Community Colleges of Spokane. McKinnis will be a sophomore, Robison a junior.

They’ll be joined by junior pitcher Kaleigh Bauerle from Belgrade, Montana, who is transferring from Pacific, Oregon, and infielder Kylie Koszykowski of Eatonville, Washington, who is transferring from Columbia Basin College.

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