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Clarke and McGee Lead the way for EWU at Big Sky Championships

Keshun McGee adds Big Sky Conference Male Freshman of the Year honors to his accolades

By Logan Stanley, Staff Reporter

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Over the weekend in Pocatello, Idaho, the EWU track and field team saw two of its athletes crowned Big Sky Conference champions in their respective events.

Freshman Keshun McGee got the Eagles going in the long jump. McGee, who hails from Bremerton, Washington, jumped 25-0 to secure the conference title. The jump was just short of placing McGee in the top 16 in the nation, which would have been made him eligible to compete at the Division I Indoor Championships.

McGee’s jump places him second all-time in the history of EWU and the freshman bested the rest of the field by a staggering 8 inches.

“Keshun McGee introduced himself to the Big Sky Conference with a phenomenal performance in the long jump,” men’s head coach Stan Kerr said to GoEags.com. “The team and coaches are proud of Keshun.”

McGee also competed in the triple jump, leaping 51-1 to place second. The mark is the second-best in school history. In total, McGee scored 18 points at the championships, ranking him third among male competitors at the meet.

The performance was enough to anoint McGee the Big Sky Conference Male Freshman of the Year award, the league office said on Feb. 27. It is the first year the award has been handed out.

Joining McGee as a conference champion was senior pole vaulter Anandae Clark. The senior, a native of Nine Mile Falls, Washington, vaulted 13-7, a 6-inch personal best and good enough to place her third all-time in conference history. The senior is now second all-time at EWU.

The win comes after Clark came close to being a Big Sky champion when she placed second as a sophomore at the 2015 Indoor Big Sky Championships and third at the 2016 Outdoor Big Sky Championships as a junior.

“The championship is something I have been trying to get for a while,” said Clark to GoEags.com. “I came out to win, and that was my goal the whole time. I wanted the 10 points for the team, so I was telling myself to just be calm and you will be fine.”

Clark led a stout group of pole vaulters, all who contributed and scored points. Sophomore Elizabeth Prouty placed fourth with a mark of 12-9 and senior Erin Clark placed fifth in 12-5 1/4. That group was expected to be contributors, which left women’s head coach Marcia Mecklenburg unsurprised.

“From the get-go, day one of indoors, the vaulters have been the strength of the team,” said Mecklenburg. “I knew going in that’s where we were going to do the best. Every meet, meet in, meet out, I felt they performed very well.”

Joining McGee and Clark in the medal count were junior sprinter Rebecca Tarbert and junior high jumper Tierra White.

Tarbert placed third in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.60. The five-time school record holder (3x indoors, 2x outdoors) was the 2015 Indoor Big Sky champion in the 60-meter dash. This is the second time Tarbert has earned a medal in the event.

“She basically ran unchallenged and blasted to a 7.60, beating the times of two athletes in the second final heat,” Mecklenburg told GoEags.com. “That is very difficult to do.”

White, who won the 2015 Big Sky Indoor championship in the high jump, leaped 5-7 to place second. This is the third time White’s placed in the top five at a championship meet during her EWU career.

The 2016 Indoor Big Sky Championships signal the end of the indoor season for EWU, with the outdoor season beginning on March 18 at the Whitworth Buc Scoring.

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Clarke and McGee Lead the way for EWU at Big Sky Championships