Aug. 30, 2012
Conny Eckl was Washington State University's first woman student-athlete to earn an All-America certificate in track and field, and in her career she earned two for her performances in the heptathlon.
Born in Lauterbach, Germany, Eckl placed third in the German heptathlon championships in both 1980 and 1983. She enrolled at WSU in the fall of 1984 after a seventh-place finish in Germany's Olympic qualifying meet for the Los Angeles Games.
As a freshman Eckl set numerous records at WSU including two at Mooberry Track. In the double dual meets against Oregon and Idaho Eckl long jumped 19-feet 11 3/4 inches to win the event in April even though six weeks before she had leaped a school record long jump distance of 20-2 1/4. Eckl won the heptathlon at the Northern Pacific Conference Championship in May of 1985 with a Mooberry Track record total of 5,370 points, a record that would hold until Ellannee Richardson, now a Cougar assistant coach, reached 5,821 points in 2002.
The 100m hurdles school record was also captured by Eckl in her frosh year, a time of 14.13 seconds, the winning time in the Cougar-Husky dual meet in Seattle. She finished third in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships in Austin that year with a PR and school record total of 5,673 points.
Eckl's sophomore season she rose to the runner-up spot on the NCAA podium with another PR and school record total of 5,718 points which today is fourth-best in WSU's all-time records. This was her second and final All-America certificate. In the summer of 1986 Eckl ran a school record 100m hurdles time of 13.86 in Burstadt, Germany. The final two seasons of her WSU career were injury-plagued so Eckl mainly threw the javelin and shot put, tossing the shot a school record distance of 48-10 in 1988.
Eckl was a graduate assistant coach for the Cougars in 1990. She married former Cougar long/triple jumper Carlos Gambetta and at last contact were living in Germany.