Cougar Men Have Rough Day at NCAA Indoor Track Championships

March 11, 2005

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Washington State's Tyson Byers and Darion Powell did not find the outcomes they were expecting during the first day's competition at the NCAA Div. I Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.

Byers, a redshirt sophomore from Spokane Valley, Wash., finished 10th in the men's pole vault after clearing 17-feet, 4 1/2 inches (5.30m). Byers cleared the opening height of 16-10 3/4 (5.15m), the highest opening height of his WSU career, on his first attempt. At the next height, 17-4 3/4, he cleared the bar on his second attempt. With the bar at 17-8 1/2 (5.40m), Byers missed on all three attempts. Oregon's Tommy Skipper won the men's pole vault with a clearance at 18-4 1/2 (5.60m).

Byers was one of five vaulters with a final clearance at 17-4 1/2, but because he missed on his first attempt at that height Byers missed a tie for eighth place and finished tied for 10th with UCLA's Yoo Kim.

'Tyson's second attempt at the final bar was decent,' Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. 'He can build on this experience for the outdoor season and keep going higher.'

After the first day of the men's heptathlon, Powell, a junior from Kirkland, Wash., is 14th with 2,369 points, for last place. Powell opened the heptathlon with a time of 7.22 seconds in the 60m dash which was 10th-best overall. He long jumped 23-0 (7.01m), sixth best on the day, and threw the shot put the third-farthest distance, 46-11 (14.30m).

Powell passed on the first five heights of the high jump competition and them missed all three attempts at 6-2 1/4 (1.89m). Auburn's Maurice Smith is the heptathlon leader with a first-day total of 3,352 points.

'Darion will not start the second day of the heptathlon,' Sloan said. 'At this point it would be futile for him to compete in the final three events.'

Saturday's national meet action includes WSU's Diana Pickler and Julie Pickler in the pentathlon and Tamara Diles in the women's pole vault.

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