May 10, 2003
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Washington State's Ellannee Richardson is leading the heptathlon and Cougar teammate Darion Powell is leading the decathlon after the first day's events at the Pacific-10 Conference Combined Events at USC's Katherine B. Loker Stadium at USC Saturday.
Richardson reached a personal-best first day total of 3,430 points for first place among the nine competitors after four events. The redshirt senior from Gladstone, Ore., is the two-time defending Pac-10 heptathlon champion and a three-time All-American in the heptathlon. Richardson had the top times of the day in the 100m hurdles (13.68w seconds) and 200m dash (24.17) and the top mark in the high jump with a clearance of 5-feet, 7 1/4 inches (1.71m), equal to her lifetime best mark. Her shot put toss of 35-1 (10.69m) was third-best of the group.
WSU's Diana Pickler scored 3,270 points for second place after the first day. The freshman from Sachse, Texas ran 13,89w in the 100m hurdles, cleared 5-6 (1.68m) in the high jump, threw the shot put 35-2 1/2 (10.73m), and ran the 200m dash in 25.20. Junior Louise Akesson (Luckeby, Sweden) tallied 2,635 points (100m hurdles - 15.04, high jump - 4-7 1/2/1.41m, shot put - 28-5 1/2/8.67m, 200m - 25.55).
Powell, a redshirt freshman from Kirkland, Wash., scored 3,945 points in the first five events. He bested the field of 11 competitors in only the shot put with a toss of 46-8 (14.22m). Powell ran the 100m dash in a PR time of 11.01, long jumped 22-10 1/5 (6.97m), high jumped 6-2 1/4 (1.89m) and ran the 400m dash in a time of 49.60.
USC's Shelton Davis is second with 3,890 points and Oregon's Santiago Lorenzo, the 2001 Pac-10 Champion, is in third place with 3,856 points.
Cougar teammate David Turpin (junior, Oakhurst, Calif.) is in sixth place with 3,630 points (100m - 11.12W, long jump - 22-2 1/5 (6.77m), shot put - 36-7 1/2 (11.16m), high jump - 6-3 1/2 (1.92m), 400m - 51.45).
"Pretty good job by all the Cougars today," Head Coach Rick Sloan said. "Hopefully we'll get fuel in the tank and get out tomorrow and put up the same kind of effort we put up today and we'll be in good shape."
The Pac-10 Combined Events competition concludes Sunday with the women competing in the long jump, javelin and 800m, and the men contesting the 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, and the 1500m run.
Quotes from Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan: "I think the 13.68 time is the best-ever in a heptathlon hurdles race for Ellannee. Diana's 13.89 her fastest heptathlon hurdles time. In the 200m, Ellannee said her legs felt kind of heavy and tired. Diana did not run a very good turn but came on strong in the straight-away.
Louise did a good job. Her high jump was down a little bit from what we hoped for but her shot was pretty close. Her hurdles was a little bit slower than what she had been running but she ran a very good 200m.
Good first-day scores for everyone. Lillian Bush from Stanford is third in the heptathlon and is having a very good meet so that will be a big battle for Diana tomorrow.
In the decathlon, Darion was very solid all the way through beginning with a lifetime-best in the 100m (11.01). Solid long jump although he struggled with his step and had to battle a tailwind off and on. On his last jump, finally got the step but foot-fouled by a little bit.
David had a good 100m, struggled a little in the long jump but got over 22-feet. The shot put was good for both guys. Darion fouled his first throw but got off a good one on his final throw.
We hoped David would high jump well and score a lot of points but he didn't have a particularly good day. Darion has not high jumped since March 26, at the Davis decathlon, so that's a pretty good job by him. He had a nice clearance at 6-2 1/4 and I thought he was capable of jumping higher but didn't come around.
Darion had a lifetime best in the 400m with a good, strong run and was very competitive. For his level of conditioning, David was good at 51.45."