Diana Pickler to Miss Pac-10 Heptathlon

May 3, 2006

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Washington State University's Diana Pickler will not compete in the 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Multi-Events Championships this weekend in Eugene.

Pickler, a junior from Sachse, Texas, was the heptathlon runner-up at last year's Pac-10 Championships as her twin sister and Cougar teammate, Julie, won the event. Julie Pickler and WSU senior Katie Miller will represent the Cougars this weekend in the two-day competition at Hayward Field.

Diana Pickler injured her left ankle after planting her foot in a high jump takeoff at the Cougar Indoor Invitational Jan. 27, and did not return to practice until the first week in March. She returned to competition March 25 at the USC Trojan Invitational, and reached an NCAA Automatic Qualifying mark in the heptathlon with her third-place total of 5579 points at the Texas Relays (April 6). Last Saturday at the WSU-Washington Dual Meet in Pullman, Pickler re-injured the same ankle competing in the high jump, an event that she won with an NCAA Regional Qualifying mark.

'Diana's ankle was very sore Sunday but Monday it was a little better,' Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. 'Tuesday afternoon she came out and tried to do a little bit of jogging on the track and said it felt better than she thought it would but not good enough to high jump and probably go all out on.'

Sloan said they made the decision to not declare Diana Pickler in the heptathlon Tuesday night. He hopes that with continued treatment and rehabilitation she will be able to come back and run on the relays and possibly hurdle at the Pac-10 Championships meet next weekend.

'Diana has an NCAA automatic qualifying mark in the heptathlon so ultimately the objective is to start now and have her prepared as best we can for the national championships. Everything needs to be geared around that,' Sloan said.

Diana Pickler is a two-time All-American and has reached NCAA Regional Qualifying marks this year in the 100m hurdles (13.86 seconds) and the high jump (5-8 3/4, 1.75m). Her heptathlon mark is third-best in the NCAA West Region and fifth-best nationally this year.

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