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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Five Cougars to Compete at 2008 Beijing Olympic Games
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 08/06/2008
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Aug. 6, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State will have one current and four former student-athletes competing at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 8-24.

There are three Washington State alumni who will be competing for the USA in track and field. All their track and field competitions (known as Athletics) will take place in the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest Stadium which seats 91,000 spectators and is the site of the Opening Ceremonies Aug. 8.

Bernard Lagat is the leading runner in both the men's 1500m and 5000m races after winning both events at the 2008 Trials. Lagat (pronounced lah-got) was the 2007 World Champion in the 1500m and 5000m as well as two-time Olympian. Running for his native Kenya, Lagat won a Bronze medal in the 1500m at the 2000 Sydney Games, and won the Silver at the 2004 Athens Games. Lagat, who lives and trains in Tucson, Ariz., will compete in these Olympic Games as a United States citizen. The men's 1500m first round will take place Aug. 15 (7:10 p.m. Beijing time), the semifinal races will be Aug. 17 (9:55 p.m.) and the final will be Aug. 19 (10:50 p.m.). The men's 5000m race first round will be Aug. 20 (8:15 p.m.) with the final set to be run Aug. 23 (8:10 p.m.)

Ian Waltz (pronounced eye-ann) leads the USA men's discus squad after winning the Trials in July. He finished 22nd in the discus qualifying rounds at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Waltz was the 2005 and 2006 US champion. He is originally from Post Falls, Idaho, but now lives and trains in Chula Vista, Calif. He is engaged to USA pole vaulter Stacy Dragila, a two-time World Champion and Gold medal winner at the 2000 Sydney Games. The qualification rounds for the men's discus will take place Aug. 16 (10:40 a.m. and 12:05 p.m.), with the final set for Aug. 19 (9 p.m.).

Diana Pickler makes her Olympic debut in the women's heptathlon after placing third in the USA Trials earlier this summer in Eugene. Pickler, from Sachse, Texas, has been training with Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan in Pullman for the past 18 months. He is also headed to Beijing for the Games. Pickler is the first WSU woman graduate to compete at the Olympic Games as a member of the USA team. The women's heptathlon will open the track and field competition Aug. 15 (100m hurdles at 9 a.m., high jump 10:30 a.m., shot put 7 p.m., 200m 9:15 p.m.). The heptathlon concludes Aug. 16 (long jump 9:50 a.m., javelin 7 p.m., 800m 9:45 p.m.).

Anson Henry is a member of the Canadian track and field team and will be running in the men's 100m dash and on the 4x100m relay team. He finished third in the 100m dash at the Canadian Olympic Trials, and was a member of the Canadian men's 4x100m relay team at the 2004 Athens Games. The men's 100m dash preliminary rounds will be run Aug. 15 (9:45 a.m. first round, 7:10 p.m. second round) with the semifinal races Aug. 16 (8:05 p.m.) and the final set for 10:30 p.m. the same day.

The only Washington State University undergraduate competing at the Beijing Games is Rugile Mileisyte (pronounced rue-GEE-lay meal-ee-SHAY-tah), a swimmer on the Lithuanian Olympic team. Mileisyte, from Alytus, Lithuania, will be a sophomore this fall at WSU. She will swim in the 50-meters freestyle Aug. 15 (6:30 p.m. Beijing time) at the National Aquatics Center.

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY PAST OLYMPIANS

Name (sport if not track & field)CountryYearsMedal
Allinger, Dawn (team handball)USA1996
Arouzes, DemetriousCyprus1988
Avognan, JohnIvory Coast1976
Babits, LasloCanada1984
Bertoia, DonCanada1964
Bohn, "Doc" (trainer)USA1932, '36, '48, '52, '60, '64, '68
Brunner, ChantalNew Zealand1996, 2000
Campbell, IanAustralia1980
Chaplin, John (track coach)USA2000
Conine, Gerald (wrestling)USA1964
Dodoo, FrancisGhana1984, '88, '92, '96
Eishen, ClemUSA1948
Enquist, Paul (rower)USA1984Gold
Gambetta, CarlosArgentina1980
Gittens, BoydUSA1968
Gustafsson, ToreSweden1988, '92, '96
Hadjiandreou, MariosGreece1988
Henry, AnsonCanada2004
Hitchcock, Vaughan (wrestling coach)USA1976
James, LauraTrinidad1972
Jenne, EldonUSA1920
Johanssen, PatrikSweden1992
Joubert, MichaelAustralia1996
Kablan, GeorgesIvory Coast1976, '84
Kinkade, Mike (baseball)USA2000Gold
Koech, PeterKenya1988Silver
Korir, JuliusKenya1984Gold
Koutsoukis, DimitriousGreece1988
Lagat, BernardKenya2000Bronze
Kenya2004Silver
Li, Tony (Li Tong)China1992, '96
Lindgren, GerryUSA1964
Moracho, JavierSpain1980, '84
Moutsanas, SotiriosGreece1984
Mullins, PeterAustralia1948
N'Drin, CelestineIvory Coast1984, '88
Nordquist, DougUSA1984
Norelius, Kristi (rower)USA1984Gold
Orr, LeeCanada1936
Ortega, OmarArgentina1984
Pallakis, ChristosGreece1992
Parnell, BillCanada1948, '52
Peyou, HenriCameroon1992
Rademacher, Pete (boxer)USA1956Gold
Reed, GeorgetteCanada1992
Roininen, LeoCanada1948
Shirley, SimonAustralia1988
Taiwo, JosephNigeria1984
Thompson, Camille (basketball)Canada1996
Tiacoh, GabrielIvory Coast1984Silver
Waltz, IanUSA2004

List current as of 8-6-08

Washington State Cougars Track & Field
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