After Death of Brother, EWU's Monterola Plans to Compete in Vene - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eastern Washington Track & Field

After Death of Brother, EWU's Monterola Plans to Compete in Venezuela

Updated:
Keisa Monterola will compete in Venezuela this weekend in hopes of making it to the Olynpics (Photo: EWU Athletics) Keisa Monterola will compete in Venezuela this weekend in hopes of making it to the Olynpics (Photo: EWU Athletics)

by EWU Athletics

Unable to compete in the NCAA Championships on Wednesday because of the tragic death of her brother, Eastern Washington University All-America pole vaulter Keisa Monterola will compete in his memory on Sunday in her home country of Venezuela.

Monterola's 26-year old brother, Keldeson Monterola, was killed in a robbery on Tuesday near their hometown of Caracas, Venezuela. Keisa was in Des Moines, Iowa, to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, but returned to Venezuela upon being informed of the shooting. According to Eastern women's track and field coach Marcia Mecklenburg, she learned of his death en route to Venezuela.

Mecklenburg said that following the NCAA Championships, Keisa was going to return to Venezuela anyway to compete in the Ibero-American Championships in Athletics in the Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto. The meet is a last chance for athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games in London, an accomplishment that Keisa has been chasing all season at EWU.

Mecklenburg said that EWU pole vault coach Eric Allison left Des Moines for Venezuela with Keisa's pole vault poles on Thursday (June 7). Keisa will compete on Sunday.

"Her family had planned on going to watch her compete, including the brother that passed away," said Mecklenburg. "Since his death, we weren't sure if she would be competing in that meet. We learned (Wednesday) night that her family wants her to compete for her brother."

According to the Caracas newspaper El Universal, Keldeson was visiting his girlfriend when he was stopped by armed men and shot twice in the head. The gunmen fled with a BlackBerry cellular phone that he had possessed. He later died in a hospital emergency room.

The Ibero-American Championships brings together over 400 athletes from 25 countries over the weekend in Venezuela. With a career-best of 14-4 (indoors), Keisa has been striving to clear a height of 14-5 1/4 and meet the Olympic Provisional qualifying standard. Her home country has promised the Venezuelan record-holder a spot on their Olympic team if she hits the mark.

In March, Monterola competed in the NCAA Indoor Championships and placed fifth with a height of 14-1 1/4. She has competed and placed in the 2011 Pan American Games (fifth), 2010 Central America and Caribbean Games (first), 2009 NWAACC Championships (first) and the IAAF World Youth Games (second). She is also the reigning indoor and outdoor Big Sky Conference Champion.

With a school-record mark of 14-0 hit at the 41st Annual Pelluer Invitational, Monterola was 13th in the nation heading into the NCAA Championships. Had she hit that 14-0 mark in Des Moines, she would have placed sixth. Katerina Stefanidi (Stanford) won the title with a mark of 14-7 1/4.

Keisa made her Eastern debut on Dec. 3, 2011, at the Candy Cane Invitational with a school-record effort of 13-11 1/4, breaking the previous record of 13-4 1/2 set by Sarah Hegna in 2007. Nearly two months later, Monterola broke the Big Sky Conference indoor record for the women's pole vault in January with a career-best 14-4 at the UW Team Invitational in Seattle, Wash. The previous record was 14-1 1/4 set by Elouise Rudy of Montana State in 2008.

"She has had plenty of good days in practice preparing for this meet," said Allison before they left for the NCAA Championships. "She looks good. Really good. Keisa is ready to jump high."

  • Local Sports from SWXLocal Sports from SWXMore>>

  • Dialed In: Christian Caple on UW Football

    Dialed In: Christian Caple on UW Football

    SWX's Neil Stover got dialed in with the University of Washington beat writer for the Tacoma News Tribune, to talk Husky football on Thursday, April 17.Caple gives SWX an inside look on the state of UW football as they enter into a new era with head coach Chris Petersen...More >>
    SWX's Neil Stover got dialed in with the University of Washington beat writer for the Tacoma News Tribune, to talk Husky football on Thursday, April 17.Caple gives SWX an inside look on the state of UW football as they enter into a new era with head coach Chris Petersen...More >>
  • EWU Ready to Begin "Eagle Week"

    EWU Ready to Begin "Eagle Week"

    Eastern Washington University head coach Beau Baldwin will serve as Honorary Grand Marshal of the Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade May 17 in Spokane, Wash., and will also make two speaking appearances next week.More >>
    Eastern Washington University head coach Beau Baldwin will serve as Honorary Grand Marshal of the Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade May 17 in Spokane, Wash., and will also make two speaking appearances next week.More >>
  • Mud Bog Races Coming to SCR

    Mud Bog Races Coming to SCR

    It's that time of year again, racing season officially kicks off this Saturday at the Spokane County Raceway with the first of 10, planned “Mud Bog” events. Mud Bog racing is a popular off-road motor sport where beefed up vehicles attempt to sprint through a large pit of…you guessed it…mud.More >>
    It's that time of year again, racing season officially kicks off this Saturday at the Spokane County Raceway with the first of 10, planned “Mud Bog” events. Mud Bog racing is a popular off-road motor sport where beefed up vehicles attempt to sprint through a large pit of…you guessed it…mud.More >>
  • Eastern WashingtonEastern WashingtonMore>>

  • EWU Ready to Begin "Eagle Week"

    EWU Ready to Begin "Eagle Week"

    Eastern Washington University head coach Beau Baldwin will serve as Honorary Grand Marshal of the Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade May 17 in Spokane, Wash., and will also make two speaking appearances next week.More >>
    Eastern Washington University head coach Beau Baldwin will serve as Honorary Grand Marshal of the Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade May 17 in Spokane, Wash., and will also make two speaking appearances next week.More >>
  • EWU Basketball Signs Third-Ranked Californian Junior College Forward to NLI

    EWU Basketball Signs Third-Ranked Californian Junior College Forward to NLI

    Eastern Washington University added the final piece to its men’s basketball program with the addition of power forward Kyle Reid from Los Angeles Trade Tech Junior College. Eastern head coach Jim Hayford made the announcement Wednesday, April 16, after Reid signed a letter of intent to play for the Eagles and attend EWU.More >>
    Eastern Washington University added the final piece to its men’s basketball program with the addition of power forward Kyle Reid from Los Angeles Trade Tech Junior College. Eastern head coach Jim Hayford made the announcement Wednesday, April 16, after Reid signed a letter of intent to play for the Eagles and attend EWU.More >>
  • Eagles Complete First Spring Scrimmage

    Eagles Complete First Spring Scrimmage

    Eastern Washington University quarterbacks combined for four touchdown passes to highlight the first football scrimmage of spring practice for the Eagles Saturday morning, April 12, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.More >>
    Eastern Washington University quarterbacks combined for four touchdown passes to highlight the first football scrimmage of spring practice for the Eagles Saturday morning, April 12, at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and SWXRN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.