The pole vault was introduced as a collegiate women's field event in 1998 and the first female vaulters mostly came from another competitive sport, gymnastics. It is no surprise that the Mooberry Track record-holder for the women's pole vault, Tamara Diles, came from a highly successful gymnastics career and is still making a living in that sport today.
Diles set the Mooberry Track pole vault record of 13-11 1/4 at the Cougar Invitational meet, April 22, 2006. She was one of 20 competitors that day and passed on the first six bar heights, not jumping until the bar hit 12-5 1/2 (3.80m). Diles had a scare when she did not clear this height until her third attempt but was the only remaining pole vaulter at this point. She easily cleared the next bar at 13-3 1/2 (4.05m) and when the bar was set at 13-7 3/4 (4.16m) Diles again needed all three attempts to clear. She cleared the meet and stadium record height of 13-11 1/4 (4.25m) on her first try and then attempted 14-1 1/4 (4.30m) three times without success. Diles ended her WSU career with two All-America certificates and was runner-up in the Pac-10 twice.
In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Diles was an excellent student being named to the Pac-10 All-Academic and USTFCCCA All-Academic teams. An active member of the WSU Student-Athlete Advisory Council, she won the SAAC True Cougar Award as a senior. She was named to the 2006 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars track and field fourth team. At the end of her collegiate career Diles was awarded the PROWL-TeamCARE Award, the Beulah M. Blankenship Outstanding Student-Athlete Award, and the Pacific-10 Conference Postgraduate Scholarship. She graduated with a degree in sport management.
Ellannee Richardson has had many memorable moments at Washington State's Mooberry Track during her five years as a competitor and 10 years as an assistant coach working with sprints and relays. One of those memories is of the weekend she set the Mooberry Stadium record for the heptathlon in 2002.
During her collegiate career, Richardson was a three-time Pacific-10 Conference heptathlon champion and the runner-up another year. As a redshirt junior in 2002, the Gladstone, Ore., native won her second consecutive Pac-10 heptathlon title under sunny skies and warm temperatures, scoring a Mooberry Stadium, school record and NCAA-leading score of 5,821 points May 11 and 12. Her marks in the seven events were: 100m hurdles (13.98), high jump (1.71m/5-7 1/4), shot put (10.53m/34-6 3/4), 200m (24.21), long jump (5.74m/18-10), javelin (45.49m/149-3, and 800m (2:14.22).
In December of 2002, Richardson was listed as the third best heptathlete in the United States, in the Track & Field News.
During her WSU competitive career, Richardson held school records for the heptathlon, 400m dash, 4x100m relay, and 4x400m relay. Her relay records are still atop the school standings today and she is listed in the top 10 for a total of nine events: 100m dash (11.83 - t-8th), 200m dash (23.78 - 4th), 400m dash (54.51i - 5th), 100m hurdles (13.52 - 3rd), 400m relay (44.50 - 1st), 1600m relay (3:33.65 - 1st), 60m dash (7.61i - t-9th), 60m hurdles (8.42i - t-5th), and heptathlon (5,839 points - 2nd).
As an undergraduate, Richardson earned five All-America certificates, four in the heptathlon and one in the 1600m relay. She was also an outstanding student and was selected for these awards at the conclusion of her senior season in 2003: WSU's Pac-10 Medal Winner, Cougar Pride Academic Salute Trophy, Senior Excellence in Academics, Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarship, Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar First Team, nominee for NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, nominee for NCAA Women of the Year and Verizon/CoSIDA National Academic All-American second team.
Richardson has had many memorable moments as a Cougar coach, including being tabbed the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) West Region men's sprints/hurdles 2006 Coach of the Year.
Two-time All-American George Ogbeide (pronounced oh-bay-dee) set the Mooberry Track 100m dash record in 1991 and it still stands today, nearly 22 years later.
Ogbeide began his career on the Cougars' team with a school record indoor 55m dash time of 6.24i, and then improved that mark in the next three consecutive races, dropping it to 6.16i.
As a senior, Ogbeide had a prolific season. At the Pepsi Team Invite in Eugene April 13, Ogbeide ran the lead leg on the winning 4x100m relay that ran a still-standing school record time of 39.24 seconds. In a double-dual meet in the next week in Pullman between WSU, Oregon and Idaho, he set the Mooberry Track record in the 100m with a personal--best and winning time of 10.27 seconds. At that meet he also won the long jump and was on the winning 4x100m relay team. He contributed to the WSU men's Pac-10 Championship by scoring in the 200m, the long jump and racing on the winning 4x100m relay. Two weeks later at the NCAA Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field, Ogbeide became the first Cougar to captured the long jump title with a leap of 26-8 1/4. He also ran on the fourth-place 4x100m relay squad as the Cougar men finished as runners-up in the team standings at the national meet.
Conny Eckl was Washington State University's first woman student-athlete to earn an All-America certificate in track and field, and in her career she earned two for her performances in the heptathlon.
As a freshman Eckl set numerous records at WSU including two at Mooberry Track. In the double dual meets against Oregon and Idaho Eckl long jumped 19-feet 11 3/4 inches to win the event in April even though six weeks before she had leaped a school record long jump distance of 20-2 1/4. Eckl won the heptathlon at the Northern Pacific Conference Championship in May of 1985 with a Mooberry Track record total of 5,370 points, a record that would hold until Ellannee Richardson, now a Cougar assistant coach, reached 5,821 points in 2002.
The 100m hurdles school record was also captured by Eckl in her frosh year, a time of 14.13 seconds, the winning time in the Cougar-Husky dual meet in Seattle. She finished third in the heptathlon at the NCAA Championships in Austin that year with a PR and school record total of 5,673 points.
WSU hosted the 1984 Pac-10 Championships and at that meet Tiacoh won the 400m title in a Mooberry Track record time of 45.24 seconds, anchored the 4x400m relay with a come from behind 100m sprint to win that title, and ran the fourth-fastest 200m in school history of 20.71 seconds in the semifinals. That year he was undefeated in the 400m until the NCAA Championships where he placed seventh in the final.
In 1986, Tiacoh's senior year, he captured every 200m and 400m race he ran indoors and outdoors. He won his third consecutive Pac-10 title in the 400m and finally grabbed the NCAA title too in an incredible time of 44.30 which was a PR, school, meet and collegiate record. Tiacoh was ranked number one in the world at the 400m at the end of the season. He had 13 sub-45.00 seconds races in his career, the most by any 400m specialist, and nine of those times were run in 1986, the most ever in one year. His eight consecutive sub-45.00 seconds races was also a record.
When the Washington State track and field home meets moved a stone's throw north from Martin Stadium to the current location, the first meet held at Mooberry Track was a double dual meet between the men's teams from Washington State, Idaho and Montana, Sat., March 28, 1981. The WSU men dominated both Idaho (114-49) and Montana (126-29).