June 28, 2008
EUGENE, Ore. -- Washington State graduate and four-time All-American Diana Pickler finished third in the women's heptathlon Saturday at the USA Olympic Trials and will be a member of the USA Olympic team for the 2008 Games in Beijing. She will be the first American woman from WSU to compete in the Olympic Games in track and field.
Pickler, originally from Sachse, Texas, scored 6,257 points in the seven events, behind winner Hyleas Fountain's 6,667 points and Jacquelyn Johnson's second place total of 6,347 points. Pickler held off a strong effort from fourth-place finisher GiGi Johnson who finished a mere 10 points behind Pickler. Diana's twin sister, Julie Pickler, did not run the 800m, and therefore did not finish with a place in the heptathlon.
In post-event quotes provided on the USATF Olympic Trials website, Diana Pickler said, "I was pretty overwhelmed after javelin because it has not been my forte to race the 800 to beat someone out. I knew I was capable of it. My coach (Washington State Head Track & Field coach Rick Sloan) knew I was capable of it. He was really calm. He was like, `I know you can do it'. It took me a little bit to convince myself but I just stuck on her like glue and knew I could as the race went on. I had to hold, but I just kept my eyes on her back and would not let her get away.
"She put it on at 300 to go. I knew I couldn't let her break away for a second or she would be gone. I just attempted to go with her every time she moved.
"I work on each event in the first three days of the week and then, whatever I need more work on, I will hit them again later in the week. I run three days a week every other day and upper body lift three days a week and lower body two days a week and rest on the weekend if I don't have a meet. That is pretty much my schedule.
"I was extremely overwhelmed right after the javelin. Having to race the 800 to get your place, for any heptathlete, is extremely nerve racking. I haven't been known in the past to race to beat out a person in the 800. I haven't and I have known that I have the capability for a really long time to do it. This is the time to do it. If I didn't do it here, then I don't know where else I would do it. I got really calm right before the race and I think that helped me run relaxed and stay focused."
The day was not as fruitful for WSU freshman Jeshua Anderson who finished ninth in the men's 400m hurdles semifinals Saturday afternoon with a time of 48.92 seconds, which was the eighth-fastest time of the day. The top four finishers in each heat advanced to the final at the USA Olympic Trials.
Anderson, the 2008 Pac-10 and NCAA Champion in the intermediate hurdles, had the fifth-best time in the first heat but only the top four advanced to the final. This was the first race as a collegian that Anderson has not won or run the fastest time. Anderson, from Woodland Hills, Calif., turned 19 years old June 22. WSU alum Eric Dudley finished 10th in the semis with a time of 49.37. Eight competitors advanced to the Sunday final.
Anderson's post-race quotes (from the USA Track & Field Olympic Trials website): "I'm just blessed to get this far."
Anderson will compete at the 2008 International Association of Athletics Federation World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, July 8-13.
Rickey Moody, a 2008 WSU graduate begins competing in the men's decathlon Sunday in Eugene.
For more information, go to the www.usatf.org/events/2008/OlympicTrials-TF/schedule.asp.
Men 400 Meter Hurdles ================================================================ World: W 46.78 8/6/1992 Kevin Young, USA American: A 46.78 8/6/1992 Kevin Young, Foot Locker AC OT: T 47.37 7/17/1988 Edwin Moses, Team adidas Hayward: S 47.69 1993 Kevin Young, USA Name Year Team Semis ================================================================ Heat 1 Semi-Finals 1 Kerron Clement Nike 48.20Q 2 Reuben McCoy Auburn 48.37Q 3 Angelo Taylor Nike 48.59Q 4 Brandon Johnson Nike 48.68Q 5 Jeshua Anderson unattached 48.92 6 Eric Dudley unattached 49.37 7 Nathaniel Garcia U.S. Army 49.52 8 Brian Derby Phenetix Intl 59.07 Heat 2 Semi-Finals 1 Bershawn Jackson Nike 48.63Q 2 Johnny Dutch South Carolina 48.71Q 3 Justin Gaymon Georgia 48.77Q 4 LaRon Bennett unattached 49.25Q 5 Robert Griffin Baylor 49.38 6 James Carter Nike 49.45 7 Terry Thornton unattached 49.90 8 Joey Woody unattached 50.34 ================================================================ World: W 46.78 8/6/1992 Kevin Young, USA American: A 46.78 8/6/1992 Kevin Young, Foot Locker AC OT: T 47.37 7/17/1988 Edwin Moses, Team adidas Hayward: S 47.69 1993 Kevin Young, USA Name Year Team Semis ================================================================ Semi-Finals 1 Kerron Clement Nike 48.20Q 2 Bershawn Jackson Nike 48.63Q 3 Reuben McCoy Auburn 48.37Q 4 Johnny Dutch South Carolina 48.71Q 5 Angelo Taylor Nike 48.59Q 6 Justin Gaymon Georgia 48.77Q 7 Brandon Johnson Nike 48.68Q 8 LaRon Bennett unattached 49.25Q 9 Jeshua Anderson unattached 48.92 10 Eric Dudley unattached 49.37 11 Robert Griffin Baylor 49.38 12 James Carter Nike 49.45 13 Nathaniel Garcia U.S. Army 49.52 14 Terry Thornton unattached 49.90 15 Joey Woody unattached 50.34 16 Brian Derby Phenetix Intl 59.07