March 12, 2005
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Diana Pickler earned All-America honors in the pentathlon but the three Washington State women did not reach their goals during the final day of competition at the NCAA Div. I Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.
Tamara Diles, a redshirt junior from Bellevue, Wash., finished ninth in the women's pole vault with a clearance at 13-feet, 5 1/4 inches (4.10m). Diles, a 2002 indoor All-American, cleared the first two bars on her second attempts, and need a third attempt to get over the bar at 13-5 1/4. She missed on all three attempts at the next height, 13-9 1/4. Kansas' Amy Linnen won the pole vault title over Washington's Kate Soma after both cleared 14-1 1/4 (4.30m) because of fewer misses.
Diana Pickler, a redshirt sophomore from Sachse, Texas, scored 4,000 points in the women's pentathlon for 10th place and All-America status. Unfortunately, her twin sister, Julie Pickler, also a redshirt sophomore, was one of the two women who did not reach a legal mark in the long jump and were eliminated from the pentathlon, leaving the field with 15 final competitors. Ashley Selig of Nebraska won the pentathlon with 4,327 points.
Diana Pickler had the third-best 60m hurdles time of 8.49 seconds and was in a five-way tie for second in the high jump after clearing a height of 5-9 1/4 (1.76m) which equaled her lifetime best. Diana's efforts in the shot put (36-7 1/2 /11.16m) and the long jump (18-7 /5.66m) were both ninth-best. Her final event, the 800m run of 2-minutes, 29.41 seconds, was 13th fastest overall, dropping her from fifth place to 10th.
Julie Pickler's 60m hurdles time was 8.66 (8th) and she was in the five-way tie with Diana for second in the high jump with a PR of 5-9 1/4 (1.76m). Julie tossed the shot put 34-10 1/2 (10.63m) which was 15th-farthest. In the long jump, her first attempt was over 19-feet but her toe went over the line. She fouled the next two attempts and was out of the competition.
"It is disappointing to not finish higher in both events," WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Tamara struggled with misses on her first attempts at all bars. Diana and Julie were rolling along great - hurdled well, high jumped well with good clearances over the bars, held on in the shot put but the long jump was another story. After setting up and getting all the pentathletes through their practice runs in the long jump, the officials moved the event to another runway and consequently eight women fouled on two attempts. Julie was ahead of schedule in points and could have finished as high as fifth or sixth. It's a shame."
The Washington State men's and women's track and field teams will compete in their first outdoor meet of the 2005 season Saturday, March 19, in Tucson at the Willie Williams Invite.