Eastern javelin thrower 'just getting started' - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eastern Washington - Track & Field

Eastern javelin thrower 'just getting started'

Posted: Updated: June 4, 2009 01:06 PM PDT

by Matt Rogers

CHENEY, Wash. - Let's face it: most college freshmen don't always have their priorities straight.  But then, Eastern Washington's Michelle Coombs isn't your average freshman.  She's the only member of the school's track team headed to Arkansas next week for the NCAA National Track and Field Championships.

"It hasn't really hit me yet - kind of a shock," said Coombs on Wednesday.  "I haven't been there, so I don't know what to expect.  But it's pretty cool."

At 19-years-old, Coombs was the only Eagle to qualify for Nationals this year, and just the sixth javelin thrower from Eastern to ever qualify.  The freshman from Hermiston, Ore. is quick to credit her coach for her success.

"I've gotten ten times stronger and ten times faster since high school, and she's done it all!"

The ‘she' to whom she referred would be Marcia Mecklenburg, EWU's women's track team coach.

"When we got to the Big Sky Championships that's when it really took off." Said Mecklenburg.  "You could really see there was a difference in her speed on the runway and technique.  It was starting to click for her - what she was supposed to do."

Coombs hard work and dedication is paying off for a young woman who's just getting started.

"She's got a lot of potential here," said Mecklenburg.  "There's gonna be some good things coming down the road."

Coombs' best throw of the season came in the Big Sky Championships.  She launched a javelin 163-feet-one-inch.  Her goal is to better than a the national preliminaries on June 10.  If she qualifies she would throw again on June 12.

Coomb's said she would eventually like to participate in the Olympics.
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