May 7, 2006
EUGENE, Ore. -- Washington State University's Julie Pickler finished second and Katie Miller took eighth place in the women's heptathlon at the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field on a cool and damp Sunday afternoon.
Pickler, a junior from Sachse, Texas, who started the day in second place by 200 points, scored 5,560 points for the runner-up spot as Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson won with a personal-best score of 5,987 points. Katie Miller, a WSU senior from Vancouver, Wash., scored 4,929 points for eighth place. The Cougar women now have nine team points in the conference championships. Pickler and Johnson already established NCAA Automatic Qualifying marks in the heptathlon prior to this weekend.
Pickler, fighting plantar fasciitis in her foot, leaped 18-feet, 10 inches (5.74m) in the long jump, third-best on the day. Miller, struggling with an ankle injury, reached 17-2 (5.23m) in the long jump.
In the javelin section of the heptathlon, Pickler tossed the spear 118-7 (36.14m) and Miller threw 116-8 (35.56m), third and fourth farthest, respectively, among the 12 women competing.
Pickler ran the 800m in a time of 2-minutes, 23.15 seconds, fourth-best on the day, and Miller's time of 2:26.67 kept her in scoring position for the event.
"Julie's foot was quite sore today and couldn't really put it down with any force to get a good takeoff or a good throw off and managed it through the 800m," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "We'll have to see how Julie's ankle feels after she recovers for a couple of days. Katie ran a great race in the 800m and she was able to hold off people in the race to hold on to eighth place."
Pickler said, "After the first day, I knew I had my work cut out for me, and it didn't get any easier today. I wasn't hitting my takeoff foot in the long jump, partly because of the injury, but that's no excuse. You do your best to put it out of your mind but I think I ran almost the whole 800 on the outside of my foot. In the javelin and long jump, I was doing my best to relax, but when you have to think about it, it doesn't get any easier. I did my best to get through it today, and we'll have to see how it responds after today for other events at Pac-10s next week. Regionals isn't looking that good right now although we haven't discussed it. Again, I don't want to sound like I'm making excuses, and Jackie competed tough."
The Pac-10 Track & Field Championships continue next weekend, May 13-14, at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.