WSU Heptathletes Head to Pac-10 Track & Field Championships

May 2, 2006

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CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IS ON FOR COUGAR TRACK: Washington State University will be represented by three heptathletes at the Pacific-10 Conference Combined Events Championships, Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7, at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field...juniors Diana Pickler and Julie Pickler, and senior Katie Miller are the WSU women competing in the heptathlon...a limited number but notable names from the Cougars team will also be competing at the Vandal Jamboree, May 5-6 at Moscow, Idaho...the team is training around WSU final exams (May 1-5) and preparing for the Pac-10 Championships the following weekend in Eugene...several Cougars will go through commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 6, on the Pullman campus...for results, go to the official WSU website,

Julie Pickler DEFENDING PAC-10 CHAMPION: WSU junior Julie Pickler (Sachse, Texas) will defend her 2005 Pac-10 Heptathlon title this weekend...last year Pickler overtook her twin sister and first-day leader, Diana, to win the heptathlon with a PR and NCAA Automatic Qualifying total of 5569 points...Diana Pickler took second with a PR and NCAA AQ of 5563 points while Katie Miller finished seventh with a PR and NCAA Provisional Qualifying total of 5000 points.

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.

MEET THE COUGAR HEPTATHLETES:Diana Pickler (junior, Sachse, Texas) Finished second to her twin Julie in the 2005 Pac-10 heptathlon (5563 points) 2003 Pac-10 hept finished fourth...two-time All-American with 6th place at 2005 NCAA hept and 10th place in 2005 NCAA Indoor pentathlon...2006 NCAA Regional Qualifier in 100m hurdles and high jump.Julie Pickler (junior Sachse, Texas) Defending Pac-10 Heptathlon champion (5569 points)...4th in 2004 Pac-10 hept...two-time All-American...2nd at 2006 NCAA Indoor pentathlon...fifth at 2005 NCAA hept...this season won Texas Relays hept with PR 5734 points...2006 NCAA Regional Qualifier in 100m hurdles and long jump.Katie Miller (senior, Vancouver, Wash.) Finished seventh in heptathlon at 2005 Pac-10 Championships with 5000 points...2006 NCAA Regional Qualifier in 100m hurdles...second-best javelin thrower on team.

Martin Boston TO RECEIVE SPECIAL RECOGNITION AT WSU COMMENCEMENT: Cougar triple jumper/sprinter Martin Boston will recognized by WSU President V. Lane Rawlins during the 8 a.m. Liberal Arts graduation for his contributions as an undergraduate including work at KZUU radio, Cable 8 TV, writing a column for The Daily Evergreen, being a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Black Student Union and Black Men Making a Difference; and singing in God's Harmony Gospel Choir...Boston helped create the Society of Spoken Word Artists...he has worked on the WSU YMCA Special Olympics and has been involved in a community discussion, Multicultural Student Question and Answer, and student leadership forums...his career goal is to become a college professor in performance studies and integrate the spoken word and student activism.

NATIONAL POLLS: The WSU women's team is ranked tied for 24th in the May 1 Trackwire Top 25 Team rankings...WSU 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 (t5th)...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...four 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 (5th heptathlon), Diana Pickler (7th heptathlon), and Tamara Diles (6th pole vault)...John Cassleman is ranked 11th in the men's 400m hurdles...neither team is ranked in the May 2 U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Assoc. Top 20 polls.

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