Seven Cougars Reach or Better NCAA Qualifying Marks

March 26, 2005

STANFORD, Calif. -- The Washington State men's 4x100m relay team of Martin Boston, James McSwain, Eric Nygard, and Jaycee Robertson ran an NCAA Regional Qualifying mark of 40.42 seconds to win the race at the Stanford Invitational Track Meet Saturday.

'We had decent handoffs but were behind Washington in the last leg when Jaycee ran down the Huskies,' WSU Head Coach Rick Sloan said.

Tamara Diles took second place in the women's pole vault clearing a school outdoor record and NCAA RQ mark of 13-feet, 5 1/4 inches (4.10m) which equaled the meet record set in 2001. Saturday's vault was won by former UCLA All-American Tracy O'Hara's 14-5 1/4 vault.

Other Cougars reaching NCAA RQ marks Saturday included Diana Pickler with a sixth-place finish in the women's 100m hurdles final in a time of 13.76. Haley Paul ran the women's 1500m in a time of 4:26.00 for fourth in her section. Justin Ireland ran a PR and NCAA RQ with his 1500m time of 3:48.09 (24th). Drew Ulrick improved his NCAA RQ mark in the discus with a fifth-place toss of 172-4 (52.53m).

Meghan Leonard, from Newberg, Ore., finished fourth in the women's 3000m steeplechase section 2 with a WSU freshman school record time of 10:59.87. Leonard erased Kayle Peterson's 2004 record time of 11:03.41 (Berkeley). Peterson took sixth place in Saturday's race with a time of 11:04.41.

'Coach Jason Drake's distance runners did a great job this weekend,' Sloan said. 'I was particularly impressed with Haley Paul's 1500m race. She ran such a smart race, hung at the back of the pace and moved up late in the race to started passing people.'

In addition to the relay duties, McSwain, a junior from Las Vegas, also finished sixth in the men's 100m dash final with a time of 10.57 after running the fastest prelim time of 10.53 Friday. Robertson finished 10th in the 200m dash with a time of 21.91.

Brandi Probasco-Canda took eighth place in the women's 400m dash with a time of 56.45, and ran on the women's 4x400m relay for a 12th-place time of 3:57.39. In the women's 200m dash, Nicole Hatcher ran a time of 25.15 (10th) and La Shawnda Porter clocked in at 25.36 (13th).

In field events, Jamil Smith had a season-best triple jump of 49-3 3/4 (15.00m) for third place while Ben Hampton finished seventh with a leap of 47-10 1/2 (14.59m). Kaylee Gardner finished fifth in the women's triple jump with a distance of 38-11 1/2 (11.87m) and freshman Sarah Burns finished ninth in the triple jump with a mark of 37-6 3/4 (11.45m).

Cougar high jumpers did not fare as well. Kyle Eaton cleared 6-6 3/4 (2.00m), along with three others at that height, and finished 14th on fewer misses. In the women's high jump, Robin Mikesh was the top WSU woman with a 10th place finish after clearing 5-7 3/4 (1.72m). Diana and Julie Pickler both cleared 5-5 3/4 (1.67m) but Diana tied for 12th and Julie tied for 17th. McKinnon Hanson cleared 5-3 3/4 (1.62m) for 20th place.

Paul Nicoletti took fourth place in the men's pole vault with a best height of 16-6 3/4 (5.05m). Tyson Byers failed to clear a height during Saturday's competition after switching to a new longer pole.

In Friday night competition, McKenzie Burgess won the women's section 'B' discus throw with a lifetime-best mark of 152-4 (46.43m) while Jessica Zita finished ninth in the same event with a PR toss of 138-1 (42.10m). In the men's 5000m section 3 race, Andrew Jones took 10th place with a PR time of 14:22.84, Alex Grant finished 16th with a PR of 14:26.55 and Chris Williams' 14:48.92 was 35th. Mike Heidt ran the 10,000m section 2 race in a time of 30:55.67 (51st).

Several Cougars also competed Saturday at the Whitworth Invite at Spokane. Selena Galaviz won the women's 400m hurdles (1:07.02), Sarah Hineline won the hammer (129-0/ 39.33m), Jared Bjerkestrand won the men's 110m hurdles (15.59), Tyler Fischback won the 400m hurdles (55.60) and Josh Leyk finished second in the same race (56.34). Keith Tyler took fourth in the men's hammer (150-1/ 45.75m) and Kyle Mitchell was third in the javelin (171-9/ 52.35m).

'Overall this was a solid meet for the Cougars,' Sloan said. 'To start the outdoor season off with this marks, especially from many young people doing great things, this excites me for the rest of the season and for the future of the program.'

The Cougars return to Pullman to host the WSU Open Meet, April 2, at Mooberry Track.

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