Feb. 26, 2005
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Washington State University's Diana Pickler added a win in the high jump title to her pentathlon title at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track & Field Championships at UW Dempsey Indoor Facility at Seattle.
Pickler, a redshirt sophomore from Sachse, Texas, won the high jump in a jump-off with Chelsey Mauck of UC Davis after a seven-way log-jam of jumpers clearing the bar at 5-feet, 7 1/4 inches (1.71m). Pickler, and teammates Julie Pickler (redshirt sophomore, Sachse, Texas) and Katie Miller (junior, Vancouver, Wash.), and the four others in the field, all missed on attempts at 5-9 (1.76m). Julie Pickler finished tied for third after withdrawing from the jump-off while Miller's final place was seventh and PR. All three Cougar women competed in Friday's pentathlon with Diana Pickler winning with an NCAA Automatic qualifying mark of 4,086 points, Julie Pickler second and Miller fifth.
"Wonderful work by these three - Diana, Julie and Katie - the whole weekend and they contributed the majority of our women's team points," Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said.
Diana Pickler, the sole Cougar champion at the 2005 MPSF meet, joined Stanford's Janice Davis (60m, 200m) and Erica McLain (long jump, triple jump), and Arizona's Robert Cheseret (mile, 3k) as double-winners at the meet.
Stanford's women (180.5 points) and UCLA's men (117.5 points) repeated as MPSF team champions. WSU's women finished sixth with 58.5 points and the Cougar men were seventh with 49 points.
Tyson Byers (redshirt sophomore, Spokane Valley, Wash.) finished second in the men's pole vault but bettered his NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark with a clearance at 17-feet, 7 1/4 inches (5.37m). Joining Byers in the 17-foot clearance club was senior Paul Nicoletti (Snohomish), whose third-place vault of 17-5 1/2 (5.32m) was not only an NCAA PQ mark but also the fourth-best mark in school history. Nicoletti, the Cougar men's team captain, bettered his personal best by 6 3/4 inches and is second only to Byers on the WSU men's best pole vault list as Washington-born Cougars. UCLA's Yoo Kim won the event with an NCAA AQ of 18-4 3/4 (5.61m).
"A fantastic job by Tyson and Paul today," Sloan said. "Both NCAA qualifying marks with Tyson in for sure and Paul's close so we're hoping he gets in. Both did a great job during the competition."
Darion Powell (junior, Kirkland, Wash.) finished second in the men's heptathlon with 5,482 points, an NCAA PQ mark but less than his previous national mark and school record total of 5,631 points. Ryan Thomas (junior, Olympia, Wash.) finished fifth in the heptathlon with a total of 5,087 points, an improvement from his combined events debut mark of 5,001 points last month. Arizona's Robert Arnold won the event with 5,518 points, a meet record.
"Darion equaled his lifetime best in the hurdles and the pole vault but the 10 days he had the flu took it out of him," Sloan said. "He thought he had gotten over it but when he got to the 1,000m race, it reared its ugly head and he didn't have much energy left. Hopefully he'll be sharp and ready to go for the nationals."
James McSwain (junior, Las Vegas) ran a dead heat in the men's 60m dash with Oregon's Richard Del Rincon but the Cougar was awarded second place by 1/100s of a second, with a final time of 6.75 seconds. McSwain also finished third in the 200m dash final with a time of 21.54 seconds.
"It was a good weekend for James and he provided good performances that added to the team score," Sloan said.
Cougar senior Jamil Smith (Palmdale, Calif.) leaped 49-6 1/2 (15.10m) for sixth place in the men's triple jump. The last points for the WSU men's team total came from the 4x400m relay squad's seventh place finish. John Cassleman, Eric Nygard, Robert Lee, Jon Manthey clocked in a season-best time of 3:14.72.
WSU women adding points Saturday included Haley Paul (freshman, Phoenix, Ariz.) who finished eighth in the mile with a PR time and freshman school record of 4:52.95. La Shawnda Porter (freshman, Renton, Wash.) finished seventh in the 200m with a time of 25.01. Sophomore Brandi Probasco-Canda (Portland, Ore.) took sixth place in the 400m dash with a time of 57.04. Probasco-Canda came back to run the lead leg of the women's 4x400m relay (Nicole Hatcher, Nicole McClendon, Selena Galaviz) to seventh place in a season-fastest time of 3:50.39.
Next weekend's schedule includes a pair of last chance qualifying meets at Moscow and Seattle, although few Cougars are expected to compete in either. The NCAA Indoor Championships are set for March 11-12 at Fayetteville, Ark.
"We know the people we are getting ready for the indoor national meet - two women (Diana and Julie Pickler) and a guy (Darion Powell) in the multis and two guys (Tyson Byers and Paul Nicoletti) and one woman pole vaulter (Tamara Diles)," Sloan said. "We'll see if Jamil Smith can make it in the triple jump, but that's probably going to be our team for the indoor nationals. I'm looking forward to training and getting more competitive in the outdoor season."