Track & Field at Cheney for Martin Indoor Invite

Jan. 15, 2002

AND THEY'RE OFF: Washington State University's indoor track and field teams are back at Eastern Washington University this Saturday, Jan. 19, for the 15th Annual Jerry Martin Invitational...with classes back in session at the Pullman campus, a very full Cougar contingent of 38 men and 28 women are scheduled to compete this weekend...field events begin at Jim Thorpe Fieldhouse at 9 a.m. with running events at 11:30 a.m.

DILES SETS RECORD: Freshman pole vaulter Tamara Diles (Bellevue, Wash.) won the women's Elite competition at the 2002 Pole Vault Summit (Jan. 11, Reno) with a school record and NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 14-feet, 3 1/4 inches (4.35m)...Diles obliterated the WSU record of 13-3 (4.04m) set by Jeannette Martus in 2001 and Martus' top indoor mark of 12-7 1/2i (3.85m) also set last season...Diles will be competing at Cheney this weekend.

TEAM HISTORY: Because the Pacific-10 Conference does not sponsor indoor track and field competition, Washington State University competes in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation for indoor track season joining teams from the Pac-10, Mountain West, Western Athletic, West Coast and Big West Conferences...the Cougar men's team won the MPSF Indoor Championships last year while the women were team champs in 1999 and 2000...Cougar coach Rick Sloan was named West Region Men's Indoor Coach of the Year by the US Track Coaches Association.

ABOUT THE COUGAR COACHES: Head coach Rick Sloan is in his 29th season with the Cougar track program (eighth year as a head coach, seventh year as mentor to the combined men's and women's program)...he is joined by associate coach Debra Farwell, and assistant coaches Dr. James Li, Mark Macdonald, Kris Grimes, and Francesca Green...volunteer coaches are Dan O'Brien and Bernard Lagat.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST WEEK: Cougars had a good start to the season at the EWU Early Bird Open Meet Jan. 12 at Cheney...junior transfer Bennie Chatman (Houston) won the 55m dash (6.39) and freshman Dione Cason (Long Beach, Calif.), won the 500m run (1:04.59)...the Cougars went one-two-three in the men's pole vault with Rick Collins first and Andy Kammenga (Bellingham, Wash.) second, both at a height of 15-5, and Justin Nikbakhsh-Tali third at 14-11..Nikbakhsh-Tali also finished fifth in the long jump at 22-8 1/2...Steve Dwyer finished third but with a PR of 7.63 seconds in the 55m hurdles behind unattached runners Arend Watkins (7.26) and Dan O'Brien (7.56)...freshman Darion Powell (Kirkland, Wash.) was sixth (7.90)...transfer Joel Gordon (CC Spokane) was second in the men's high jump with an identical mark with former teammate Howard Harrison (CCS), 6-6 3/4 (2.00m)...Tim Gehring finished third in the shot put at 51-8 1/4 (15.75m), behind Idaho's Joachim Olsen (Thorpe Fieldhouse record of 68-5 3/4 / 20.87m) and Simon Stewart (60-10 / 18.54m)...sophomore Bree Skinner ran a lifetime-best of 7.25 and freshman Dalila Russell ran a 7.55 to finish one-two in the 55m dash...Ellannee Richardson won the 55m hurdles in a time of 8.21 after running an 8.16 in the prelims...Randi Smith second in a time of 8.23 while Whitney Evans was fourth at 8.59 after clocking in at 8.49 in the prelims...Briana Willis won the high jump with a leap of 5-5 (1.65m) and Richardson was the runner-up at 5-3 (1.60m)...sophomore Karla McGee won the pole vault with a height equal to the Thorpe Fieldhouse record of 11-11 3/4 (3.65m) set by former Cougar Jeannette Martus last year...Shannon Rance showed she was not suffering from a sophomore slump with a PR and winning shot put mark of 47-0 1/4 (14.33m)...freshman Marie Muai (Tacoma) was second in the shot at 43-0 1/4 (14.11m)...Sammy Jo Missel, a freshman from Mead, Wash., placed seventh in the 20# weight throw with a toss of 44-9 (13.64m).

OUT OF ACTION: Senior captain Randi Smith will not be competing this weekend...the talented Cougar hurdler is at home with her family in Southern California after the tragic death of her youngest brother, Robert, in a traffic accident Sunday morning...Robert Smith, 17, was a talented senior athlete at Saugus High...Randi is expected to return to the Pullman campus early next week.

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