April 6, 2005
AUSTIN, Texas -- Washington State redshirt sophomores Diana Pickler and her sister Julie Pickler are in first and third place respectively, after the first day's events of the women's heptathlon and men's decathlon at the 78th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas.
Diana Pickler, a redshirt sophomore from Sachse, Texas, leads the 17-women field after the first four events of the heptathlon with a first-day lifetime-best total of 3,354 points. Her twin sister Julie is in third place with 3,252 points, and only 32 points behind the second-place competitor, Jennifer Johnson, a senior from Texas A&M. Katie Miller, junior from Vancouver, Wash., is in 13th place with 2,925 points.
Diana Pickler started the day by running the fastest time in the five heats of the 100m hurdles with a non-wind-aided PR time of 13.74 seconds which is also an NCAA Regional Qualifying mark. Julie Pickler's 14.48 in the hurdles tied for sixth-fastest while Miller's time of 14.65 was eighth overall.
In the high jump, Julie Pickler leaped a PR of 5-feet, 7 3/4 inches (1.72m), tied for second highest, after missing her first two attempts at 5-6 1/2 and her first two attempts at 5-7 3/4. Diana Pickler cleared the bar a season-best 5-6 1/2 (1.69m) in her third attempt. Miller passed until 5-1 3/4 (1.57m) and cleared on her first attempt but missed at all three tries at 5-3 (1.60m).
Diana Pickler finished the day with the top time in the 200m, a PR of 24.61 seconds. Julie's time of 24.98 was run into a headwind and fourth-fastest while Miller also reached a PR with her time of 25.93, eighth overall.
"This championship may come down to the 800m unless Diana or Julie has a huge long jump. If they have their normal javelin throws, and if Diana loses to Julie by eight seconds in the 800m, Julie will win the event," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said.
The day was not as successful for Darion Powell, a junior from Kirkland, Wash. Powell opened his decathlon with a PR time of 10.99 seconds in the 100m dash, third-fastest overall. Powell's long jump was a windy mark of 22-feet, 7 3/4 inches (6.90m) and he came back strong with a PR shot put of 47-1 3/4 (14.37m), second-best overall.
In third place among the 18 competitors after the first three events, Powell failed to clear the high jump at 5-9 3/4 (1.77m) after passing at 5-3 3/4 and the next four heights. Powell did not start the 400m dash and therefore is considered withdrawn from the competition.
"Darion said he had nothing in his legs," Sloan said. "He competed Saturday (at the WSU Open) very well in a few events and today said his legs were tired throughout that meet and today. We'll have to rest him longer to get him ready for the Pac-10 Championships next month."
The last three heptathlon events at the Texas Relays begin at noon Central Time Thursday, April 7.