June 15, 2007
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Washington State University's talented football wide receiver Jason Hill and outstanding multi-events track and field competitor Diana Pickler are among the 2006-07 Pacific-10 Conference Medal winners announced by Commissioner Tom Hansen.
A Conference Medal is awarded annually to each member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete exhibiting the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
Hill, a San Francisco, Calif. native, finished his Cougar career as WSU's all-time leader in touchdown receptions and receiving yards. He was selected in the third round of the 2007 National Football League by his hometown team, the San Francisco 49ers. Hill, the only Cougar selected during the first day of the 2007 NFL Draft, was the 76th player drafted and the 12th in the third round.
In 2006 Hill led WSU with seven receiving touchdowns, to go with 41 catches for 600 yards. He missed the final two games after suffering a high ankle sprain late in the first half against Arizona. Following his final season Hill was named the Cougars Co-Offensive MVP, am All-Pac-10 second team selection and participated in the 2007 Senior Bowl, where he caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Ohio State's Troy Smith to cap a 27-0 North victory.
Hill is the Cougars' all-time leader in receiving yards (2,704) and touchdown receptions (32), tied for second in Pac-10 history in the latter category. Hill is also second in receptions at WSU with 148. He caught a touchdown pass in four straight games in 2006 and had a season-high 121 yards receiving, including the lone Cougar touchdown, in a 13-6 win at Oregon State. Hill also owns the top two single-season marks for touchdown receptions, posting back-to-back seasons of 13 and 12 in 2005 and 2004, respectively.
In December of 2006, Hill became the first member of his family to graduate from college as he completed his sociology degree in three and a half years.
Diana Pickler is a four-time All-American heptathlete from Sachse, Texas, who owns the Pac-10 heptathlon record and the WSU women's school records in the pentathlon (4,339 points), heptathlon (6,205 points) and the 100m hurdles (13.25 seconds). In 2007, Pickler took second place in the pentathlon at the NCAA Indoor Championships, won the Pac-10 heptathlon, and was the national leader going into the NCAA Outdoor Championships when she was disqualified in one event and dropped from the first-day leader to 24th place.
In addition to her three school records, Pickler is prominent in the top ten for other events at WSU including the long jump where her leap of 20-feet, 4 1/4 inches (6.20m) is fourth, the 200m dash where her time of 23.69w seconds is sixth, the high jump where her clearance at 6-0 1/2 (1.84m) is third, and the javelin where her throw of 144-5 (44.03m) is seventh-best all-time.
Her winning total at the 2007 Texas Relays of 6,205 points is the fourth-best heptathlon ever by a collegian in-season, and an "A" Qualifier for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Pickler will have the chance to make the Olympic team at the Olympic Trials, June 2008 in Eugene, Ore.
Pickler was twice named Pac-10 Women's Athlete of the Week in 2007 and earned a national accolade as the USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week. She earned her degree in May 2007 in general studies.
She served as the women's team co-captain with her twin sister and fellow Cougar multi-events competitor, Julie Pickler. Later this month both Picklers will compete in the heptathlon at the USA National Championships in Indianapolis where Diana Pickler finished fifth in 2006.
The Conference Medal winners will be honored at the State Farm Pride of the Pac-10 Luncheon held in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Pac-10 Men's Basketball Tournament next March.
Following are the 2006-07 Pacific-10 Conference Medal Winners for each school:
Arizona - Adam Ritter, Swimming and Whitney Myers, Swimming Arizona State - Niklas Lemke, Golf and Amy Hastings, Track & Field California - John Mann, Water Polo and Jillian Davis, Volleyball Oregon - Jordan Kent, Football and Nicole Garbin, Soccer Oregon State - Mitch Canham, Baseball and Natalie Johnson, Softball Stanford - Ben Wildman-Tobriner, Swimming and Cassidy Krug, Diving UCLA - Andrew Baumgartner, Football and Jackie Nguyen, Track & Field USC - Pavol Valovic, Water Polo and Anca Anastasiu, Tennis Washington - Ryan Brown, Track & Field and Courtney Thompson, Volleyball Washington State - Jason Hill, Football and Diana Pickler, Track & Field