May 12, 2007
STANFORD, Calif. -- Washington State University's Sara Trané won the women's steeplechase with a school record time while McKenzie Garberg and the Pickler sisters garnered points of the Cougar women Saturday at the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships, presented by 76 ProClean Gasolines, held at Stanford's Cobb Track and Angell Field.
Trané (pronounced trah-knee-ah), a sophomore from Pixbo, Sweden, won the women's steeplechase in a WSU record time and improved NCAA Regional Qualifying time of 10 minutes, 19.89 seconds, an improvement of 14 seconds off her previous lifetime-best. Trané took the lead with a little more than a lap left to go but ASU's Corey Randall retook the lead only to fall in the final water jump. Trané went on to win while Randall recovered to finish third. Cougar junior Meghan Leonard (Newberg, Ore.) took fourth place with a PR and improved NCAA RQ time of 10:26.78. WSU's Collier Lawrence finished 11th (10:46.17) and Kayle Peterson finished 14th (11:07.47).
"That was a great race by Sara; she stayed right up off the lead and I think it would have been a real good race to the finish if the ASU runner hadn't fallen," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Sara was really strong to the finish. Meghan Leonard also did an outstanding job of really fighting through to the end of the race."
After winning the heptathlon last weekend, Diana Pickler (senior, Sachse, Texas) just missed winning the high jump too. Pickler took second place after clearing her PR of 6-feet, 1/2 inch (1.84m), the same height cleared by UCLA's Rhonda Watkins, winner on fewer missed attempts. Cougar Julie Pickler, heptathlon runner-up, also equaled her PR with a clearance at 5-8 3/4 (1.75m) for a tie for fifth place. The Pickler's marks are NCAA RQs. McKinnon Hanson (junior, LaPush, Wash.) cleared her season-best of 5-7 (1.70m) for a three-way tie for eighth place.
"Diana did a great job of managing the competition," Sloan said. "It was a unique situation as Diana and the UCLA girl had no misses and the bar moved to 6-feet, 1/2 inch. Diana got a little too close to the bar and missed her first try and that cost her the Pac-10 title. Her clearance on the second jump was her best ever and she cleared the bar by a lot. Her third attempt at 6-1 1/2 (1.87m) was a good looking jump and she almost made that."
No sooner had Diana Pickler finished the high jump when she changed shoes and hustled to the starting blocks for the 100m hurdles prelims, with no real warm-up for the race. But she qualified for the final with a time of 13.45 seconds, third-fastest of the day. Julie Pickler's time of 14.13 was 10th and Angelica Flynn finished 15th (14.84).
McKenzie Garberg (junior, Benton City, Wash.) took sixth place in the women's shot put with a PR and improved NCAA RQ mark of 49-1 1/2 (14.97m), fourth-best in school history. Garberg also finished seventh in the discus by throwing an NCAA RQ distance of 167-3 (50.99m), although she has thrown a better mark this season. Jessica Zita was 12th in the shot with a heave of 46-0 1/2 (14.03m).
"Nice work for McKenzie getting the PR in the shot put and then coming back in the discus and throwing just a little less than she has thrown in the past but still nice work by her," Sloan said. "She'll have the hammer Sunday and she's already scored in two events."
Matt Lamb and Drew Ulrick finished fourth and fifth, respectively, with NCAA RQ marks in the men's discus. Lamb (sophomore, Emmett, Idaho) threw the disc 192-6 (58.68m), and Ulrick (senior, Spokane) threw a PR distance of 191-6 (58.37m). Lamb did not score in the shot put with a toss of 54-2 1/2 (16.52m) for 12th.
Rickey Moody (junior, Puyallup, Wash.), placed third in the decathlon last weekend, took fourth place in the long jump Saturday with a leap of 23-11 3/4w (7.31m).
Two Cougars reached NCAA RQs in the men's steeplechase, Alex Grant (junior, Bellingham, Wash.) placed eighth with a PR time of 9:03.73, and redshirt freshman Sam Ahlbeck (Renton, Wash.) finished 10th in a time of 9:05.77. Chris Concha (junior, Reno, Nev.) finished 17th (9:28.89) but already has an NCAA RQ time.
It was a very disappointing day for All-American Tyson Byers (senior, Spokane Valley, Wash.) who no-heighted in the men's pole vault. Byers passed the first three heights and then missed all three attempts at 16-10 3/4 (5.15m). He has an NCAA RQ mark so will be able to compete in Eugene at the West Regionals in two weeks.
"I feel sorry for Tyson," Sloan said. "The wind was really swirling around and when he got up on his third attempt he had a big cross-wind blowing from right to left which is hard to deal with."
In the men's 100m dash prelims, both Justin Woods (sophomore, Buena Vista, Calif.) and Jaycee Robertson (senior, Spanaway, Wash.) advanced after running identical times of 10.56, fourth-fastest. In the 200m prelims later in the day, Woods ran a time of 21.43, third-best, and Robertson's time of 21.60 was seventh. Sunday will not be a day of rest for these Cougar speedsters as both are also scheduled to run in the 4x100m relay.
John Cassleman, senior All-American intermediate hurdler (Pullman, Wash.) ran the top 400m hurdles prelim time of 51.53, and improved NCAA RQ time, while sophomore Barry Leavitt (Benton City, Wash.) reach NCAA RQ with his time of 52.30, fifth-best on the day. Robert Williams (sophomore, Riverside, Calif.) ran a time of 52.75 (11th). Williams did qualify for the 110m hurdles final with a prelim time of 14.22. Moody was 15th in the high hurdles with a time of 14.48 and Kyle Schauble (freshman, Kennewick, Wash.) was 19th (15.22).
"John Cassleman looked like the John of old," Sloan said of the hurdler who had struggled earlier in the season. "He was back a little bit coming onto the straightaway, made a real nice charge down the straightaway and moved himself up for the win in the qualifying race. And Barry did a nice job today and moved into the intermediate hurdles final."
In women's sprints prelims, La Shawnda Porter-Red (junior, Renton, Wash.) was eight in the 200m dash with a time of 24.30 while Princess Joy Griffey (freshman, Federal Way, Wash.) just missed advancing to the final with a 10th-place time of 24.51. Neither advanced to the 100m dash final as Griffey was 12th at 11.99, and Porter-Red was 13th at 12.07.
Lorraine King (sophomore, Fontana, Calif.) qualified for the women's 400m hurdles final after running a time of 1:01.97, seventh-fastest on the day.
In other preliminary racing, Karen DeMartini (junior, Reno, Nev.) ran a 1500m PR time of 4:37.01, 13th but only the top 12 advance to the Sunday final. Marisa Sandoval (sophomore, Los Alamos, NM) finished 20th with a time of 4:52.52. Brandi Probasco-Canda (senior, Portland, Ore.) ran a 400m dash time of 55.76 for 16th. Lisa Egami (freshman, Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada) finished 13th in the women's 800m with a time of 2:13.55. Kelly Ramirez (junior, Duvall, Wash.) did not finish the 10,000m race.
Cougar men racing but not advancing to finals included 800m competitors Bob Hewitt-Gaffney (freshman, Gillette, Wyo.) who finished 16th (1:54.06), and Luke Lemenager (freshman, Maple Valley, Wash.) who ran a time of 1:54.52 for 18th.
Catie Schuetzle (sophomore, Spokane, Wash.) finished 10th in the women's long jump with a leap of 19-2 (5.84m) but will be one of three Cougar women to triple jump Sunday.
Reflecting on the first day, Sloan said, "I think our men and women did a great job today. The guys all really stepped up. The discus guys did a great job. The vault will hurt us a little bit but I think we have gotten a lot of good performances to help compensate for it. We have two guys in the finals of both the 100m and 200m. On the men's side we have a number of events where we can score points. For the women, the majority of points we were looking for were taken care of today. I'm anxious for tomorrow to see what we can do."
The defending women's team champions, Arizona State, leads after the first day with 73 points while WSU is second with 49.33 points followed by UCLA women with 42.5 points. Oregon and Arizona are tied for the lead in the men's team scoring with 47 points. WSU men's team is seventh with 21 points.
"I think the Cougs did a great job today of competing and got some great come-throughs," Sloan said. "Tomorrow we have to come out and do it again and put up some more numbers."
The Pac-10 Meet continues Sunday at Stanford.