June 11, 2005
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Washington State pole vaulter Tamara Diles joined heptathletes Julie Pickler and Diana Pickler as All-Americans by placing in the top eight scoring positions during the final day of the NCAA Div. I Track & Field Championships at Hornet Stadium, part of the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex at Sacramento State University.
In the heptathlon, Julie Pickler finished fifth with a lifetime-best 5,650 points and her twin sister Diana Pickler was sixth with a lifetime-best 5,595 points. Lela Nelson, a senior from Eastern Michigan, won the heptathlon with 5,878 points. In WSU all-time records, Julie Pickler's heptathlon total of 5,650 points is third best and Diana Pickler's 5,595 points is fourth-best. Idaho's Manuela Kurrat finished fourth with 5,714 points.
The Picklers, redshirt sophomores from Sachse, Texas, finished one-two in the 2005 Pac-10 heptathlon with Julie claiming the title. This was Julie's first NCAA Outdoor Championship meet. Diana earned indoor All-America accolades with her 10th place finish in the 2005 NCAA Indoor pentathlon.
Coming into Saturday's competition, Diana Pickler was in third place and Julie Pickler was in sixth place among the 27 competitors. In the long jump, Julie Pickler's leap of 19-feet, 2 3/4 inches (5.86m) kept her in sixth but Diana Pickler's long jump of 18-9 3/4 (5.73m) dropped her to fifth in the standings after five events.
"I thought Julie and Diana competed really well today," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "They worked hard to get their marks in the long jump and struggled a bit in the javelin. The 800 meters was a very fast race but Julie moved up at the end. On the whole, they competed very well, reaching lifetime-bests. They scored in the 5400s at the Texas Relays, scored in the 5500s at the Pac-10s and both bettered those totals at the NCAAs with Julie reaching 5600 and Diana just missing. They both got better with every heptathlon and learned from each occasion."
Diles, a junior from Bellevue, Wash., finished in a tie for seventh in the women's pole vault final. Diles cleared heights of 12-9 1/2 (3.90m), 13-1 1/2 (4.00m), and 13-5 1/4 (4.10m) on her first attempts. She missed all three attempts at the next height, 13-9 1/4 (4.20m). Washington senior Kate Soma won the event clearing the bar at 14-1 1/4 (4.30m).
"Tamara looked solid today after she struggled to get into the final," Sloan said. "Her first three jumps were clean but she moved up to bigger pole at 4.20m (13-9 1/4) which was stiffer and didn't have the same movement as the lighter pole. This was a good meet for her. She made nice adjustments and made All-America."
Texas won the women's national team title with 55 points. The Washington State women scored eight team points and finished in a 12-way tie for 32nd. The Arkansas men won the team title with 60 points while WSU's four points resulted in an eight-way tie for 46th.