Diles Advances after NCAA Track Championships Second Day

June 9, 2005

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Washington State pole vaulter Tamara Diles was the lone Cougar to advance from Thursday's qualifying rounds during the second day of the NCAA Div. I Track & Field Championships at Hornet Stadium, part of the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex at Sacramento State University.

Diles, a junior from Bellevue, Wash., cleared a pole vault height of 13-feet, 5 1/4 inches (4.10m) joining 10 others at that height. Three of the eight vaulters who cleared only 13-1 1/2 (4.00m) also advanced to the Saturday night finals. Diles joins WSU men's pole vaulter Tyson Byers as the only Cougars to advance to finals of their events.

The WSU school record-holder at 13-7 1/4 (4.15m), Diles didn't clear the opening height of 12-3 1/2 (3.75m) until her third attempt but rebounded with a first attempt clearance with the bar at 12-9 1/2 (3.90m). With the bar at the third height of the qualifying competition, 13-1 1/2, Diles again missed on her first two attempts before clearing on her third. With the bar at the final height for Thursday night of 13-5 1/4, she missed her first attempt and also her second attempt, but because of an official's error on the standard settings, was allowed to repeat her second attempt and cleared the bar.

'Tamara looked good on final clearance,' WSU jumps coach Kris Grimes said. 'The bar will start at 3.90 meters (12-9 1/2) Saturday and she will be ready.'

Defending national champion Chelsea Johnson, from UCLA (14-1 1/2), did not clear a height in the qualifying competition and was eliminated with the bar at 13-1 1/2 (4.00m).

John Cassleman, a sophomore from Pullman, Wash., missed advancing to the men's 400m hurdles semifinals by five one-thousandths of a second. Cassleman and University of Texas freshman Hamza Deyaf crossed the finish line of the fifth prelim race in a dead-heat tied at 51.32 seconds. Upon further review of the finish line photo, Deyaf's time was determined to be 51.318 and Cassleman's time was 51.323. Deyaf became the 16th and final hurdler to advance to the semifinals while Cassleman fell to 17th overall and his national championships racing was done for the year. Florida's Kerron Clement, the defending national champion, had the fastest time of the day at 49.13 seconds.

In the only other Cougar running event, sophomore Jaycee Robertson from Spanaway, Wash., ran the men's 200m round one in a time of 21.28 seconds, 22nd overall as the top 18 competitors advanced to the semifinals later Thursday night. Arkansas' Wallace Spearmon ran the fastest round one time 20.35w.

Discus thrower Drew Ulrick, a sophomore from Spokane, Wash., had a qualifying round best throw of 175-feet, 9 inches (53.56m) which was 19th overall. The top 12 throwers advanced to the men's final Saturday. Ulrick's first throw went 158-1 (48.19m), his second throw bettered that by more than 17-feet, but he fouled his final attempt.

Cougars competing in Friday's events include Julie Pickler and Diana Pickler in the women's heptathlon first day, and Tyson Byers in the men's pole vault final.

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