Track & Field Heads to 'Zona for First Outdoor Meet

March 14, 2006

COUGARS OPEN OUTDOOR SEASON AT TUCSON: The Washington State University men's and women's track and field teams will compete in the first outdoor meet of the season this weekend...the Cougars will travel 19 men and 12 women to the 22nd Annual Willie Williams Classic, which includes the Dave Murray Distance Carnival, at the Roy P. Drachman Stadium on the University of Arizona is a two-day, non-scoring meet...a large high school competition runs concurrently with the collegiate meet...women's hammer opens the Friday events at 4:30 p.m. with the concluding event, the men's 5000m slated to begin at 9:50 p.m...Saturday's events begin at 9 a.m. and finish with the men's 4x400m relay at 3 p.m. (all times Arizona Time - one hour later than Pacific Time)......results will be posted on the WSU Athletics website,, when available after competition concludes each day.

EMPHASIS ON OUTDOOR EVENTS: The Williams Classic Meet will find Cougars competing in events not contested during the indoor season...WSU will have both men and women entries in the 3000m steeplechase, 400m intermediate hurdles, discus, javelin, and hammer throw.

COACH SLOAN SAID: 'We want to make the transition to an outdoor meet with nice weather, hopefully. But for others it is a huge transition because the javelin throwers haven't competed yet and we traditionally throw very well in Tuscon. The same with intermediate hurdlers and steeplechasers, it's their first competition of the year. The shot putters go from throwing a very large plastic ball to a smaller steele ball and we go from a rubber discus to a metal-rimmed disc and that is a very different feel in your hand. They aren't throwing into a net but throwing out into the sky and that gives a different perspective. The pole vaulters and high jumpers also contend with the sky instead of a roof. It isn't just indoors versus outdoors, warm versus cold, but a lot of factors.'

STAYING HOME TO TRAIN: The WSU high jumpers, pole vaulters, and multi-events athletes will not travel to Tucson for this weekend's outdoor meet but will stay in Pullman to train for the USC Trojan Invite Meet March 25.

ABOUT THE COUGAR COACHES: Head coach Rick Sloan is in his 33rd season with the Cougar track program; 12th year as a head coach, 11th year as mentor to the combined men's and women's program...he is joined by associate coach Debra Farwell, and assistant coaches Jason Drake (Head Coach Cross Country), Mark Macdonald, Ellannee Richardson and Matt McGee...volunteer coach Andrea Thornton returns for her third year with the program...coaches Farwell, Macdonald, Richardson, McGee and Thornton all competed for WSU.

COUGARS AT NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS: Julie Pickler (junior, Sachse, Texas) was runner-up in the pentathlon with 4367 points, a school record, and her first indoor All-America certificate...Tamara Diles (senior, Bellevue, Wash.) finished 10th in the women's pole vault with a best clearance of 4.00m/13-1 1/2i.

NO QUALIFYING MARKS NEEDED FOR PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: This is the second year the Pacific-10 Conference will forego its own set of qualifying marks for entrance into its championship meet...instead, a maximum of 24 women and 24 men may be entered from each school into the conference championships meet at each head coach's marks from the outdoor season will be used to construct descending order lists, and the Pac-10 will allow the use of indoor marks for seeding into the championship heats/flights.

WSU Women

100m - La Shawnda Porter200m - La Shawnda Porter, Brandi Probasco-Canda400m - Lorraine King, Brandi Probasco-Canda800m - Sara Trané1500m - Meghan Leonard5000m - no entry100m Hurdles - no entry400m Hurdles - Lorraine King, Sara Trané3000m Steeplechase - Kayle Peterson4x100m Relay - no entry4x400m Relay - TBAHigh Jump - no entryPole Vault - no entryLong Jump - Catie SchuetzleTriple Jump - Sarah Burns, Catie SchuetzleShot Put - McKenzie Garberg, Jessica ZitaDiscus - McKenzie Garberg, Jessica ZitaJavelin - Jenna Dean, Jasmine McCormackHammer - McKenzie Garberg, Jessica Zita

WSU Men100m - Martin Boston, James McSwain, Jaycee Robertson, Justin Woods200m - James McSwain, Jaycee Robertson, Brian Woods, Justin Woods400m - Brian Woods, Jimmy Schofield800m - Justin Chambers1500m - no entry5000m - no entry110m Hurdles - Josh Leyk, Robert Williams400m Hurdles - John Cassleman, Josh Leyk, Robert Williams3000m Steeplechase - Evan Blanshan, Phil Hinrichs4x100m Relay - TBA4x400m Relay - Two teams - TBAHigh Jump - no entryPole Vault - no entryLong Jump - no entryTriple Jump - Moreno ZapataShot Put - Drew UlrickDiscus - Matt Lamb, Chase Mancuso, Drew UlrickJavelin - Jon Jeffreys, Ryan ScottHammer Throw - Phil MacArthur, Chase Mancuso

For a complete schedule or more information about the Willie Williams Track & Field Meet, please go to

COUGAR OUTDOOR REDSHIRTS: The following student-athletes will redshirt during the outdoor season: distance runners Chris Concha, Alex Grant, Clay Hemlock and Chris Williams, throwers Vic Asher and Cameron Schwisow.

WRISTBANDS FOR NYGARD: The WSU Track & Field teams are selling wristbands for senior hurdler Eric Nygard (Wenatchee, Wash.)...Nygard, a scorer in the 400m hurdles at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 2005...after an initial treatment, he was thought to be in January 2006, he was informed the cancer had returned and began treatment that prevents him from competing with the WSU Track & Field team...still attending classes at WSU with goal to graduate in August and apply to dental schools...Eric is married and has an infant daughter...wristbands are black with a quote from Charles Beard, selected by Nygard, in yellow lettering, 'When it's dark enough, you can see the stars' and his initials, E.N...cost is $5 (medium and large) purchase a wristband, contact Cougar assistant coach Ellannee Richardson at 509-335-4730...additionally, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is conducting a penny drive through donation containers in each WSU team's locker room with the proceeds going to Nygard...a benevolent account has been established at Washington Mutual Bank under his name for donations to assist with medical expenses and can be made at any WaMu branch.

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