WSU Track & Field Home for Cougar Invite This Saturday

April 18, 2006

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COUGAR TRACK & FIELD HOME FOR INVITE MEET: Washington State University's track and field teams will compete at home this weekend for the Seventh Annual Cougar Invitational, Saturday, April 22...over 400 participants from the following schools will join WSU: Idaho, Montana, Community Colleges of Spokane, Central Washington, Western Washington University, Gonzaga, Lewis-Clark State, Treasure Valley CC, Seattle Pacific, Northwest University, and Western team scoring...the field events begin at 10 a.m. while the running events begin at 1:15 p.m...Admission is Free of Charge...results will be posted at website.

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.

COUGAR THROWERS CAR WASH: The Cougar throwers will conduct their fourth annual car wash April 23, 2006, with this year's proceeds going to Eric Nygard, a WSU track and field athlete, to assist with medical expenses related to his cancer treatment...the car wash will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and take place at the Bank of America, 425 E. Main St., in downtown Pullman, with the Chevron Gas Station donating the water used for the car wash...those unable to stop by the car wash can donate by contacting Debra Farwell at 509-335-0260...the Cougar throwers have conducted very successful car washes the past three years with donations totaling $3,100 going to a local community member.

EASY VIEWING OF PAC-10 PERFORMANCE LISTS: The Pacific-10 Conference performance descending order lists can be viewed online at on Performance Lists and under Current Seasons, click again on Pac-10 Outdoor Track & Field Performance Lists.

NATIONAL POLLS: The WSU women's team is tied for 19ths in the April 17 Trackwire Top 25 Team rankings... Cougar men's team is unranked...teams holding top rankings this week are Texas women and Florida State men...USC (3rd) is the top Pac-10 women's team ranked as are Arizona's men (6th)...Trackwire 25 projects a hypothetical score for the NCAA meet, factoring in injury reports and other variables supported by information gathered from coaches and NCAA-qualifying competitions across the country...this projection is generated by scoring the Dandy Dozen, a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event...six Cougs are included in Trackwire Online's Dandy Dozen lists, a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event...WSU women ranked include Julie Pickler (4th heptathlon), Diana Pickler (6th heptathlon), Tamara Diles (6th pole vault), and Jenna Dean (12th javelin)...WSU men ranked are James McSwain (12th, 100m) and John Cassleman (12th 400m hurdles).

INJURY UPDATE: After a minor set-back last month, All-American pole vaulter Tyson Byers is practicing again and aiming to return to competition April 29, after missing all of the indoor season with a strained hamstring...junior triple jumper Kaylee Gardner is rehabilitating after successful knee surgery last month with a hopeful return to competition date of April 29.

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, and decathlete Brandon Brownell.

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 its championship meet...instead, a maximum of 24 women and 24 men may be entered from each school at the head coach's discretion...outdoor and indoor seasons will be used for descending order lists and seeding into the championship heats/flights.

MPSF ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS ANNOUNCED: The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, WSU's affiliation for indoor track and field, announced the 2006 Academic All-Conference scholar-athletes April 11...criteria is 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average, be at least a sophomore in academic standing, have completed a full academic year at school prior to this season, and have competed in fifty percent or more of team's schedule...WSU had 12 women and 10 men selected...for a compete list, go to WSU Women: Karen DeMartini, Tamara Diles, Kaylee Gardner, McKinnon Hanson, Collier Lawrence, Nicole McClendon, Haley Paul, La Shawnda Porter, Kelly Ramirez, Katy Troy, Kameko Wilson, Jessica Zita. WSU Men: Martin Boston, D. J. Brown, Brandon Brownell, John Cassleman, Alex Grant, Mike Heidt, Nick Isaac, Andrew Jones, Josh Leyk, Drew Ulrick.

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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