Julie Pickler Second in Heptathlon at NCAA Track & Field Championships

June 8, 2007

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Washington State University's Julie Pickler was the runner-up in the heptathlon at the NCAA Div. I Track & Field Championships at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex Friday.

Julie Pickler, a senior from Sachse, Texas, scored a lifetime-best 5,831 points for second place and her fifth All-America certificate. Jackie Johnson scored 5,984 points for the heptathlon win, her second consecutive and third NCAA hept title for the Arizona State junior. Julie Pickler had started the day in seventh place and remained there after the long jump competition but moved to fifth place after the javelin and then to second with her 800m run. Jullian Drouin, a junior from Syracuse, finished third, just nine points behind Julie Pickler.

In a surprising move, WSU senior and Julie's twin sister, Diana Pickler, continued with her heptathlon competition Friday in spite of her disqualification in the 200m Thursday which dropped her from first place to 25th place in the standings after four events. Diana Pickler finished 24th with 4,926 points.

Commenting on her decision to compete Friday, Diana Pickler said, 'It (the disqualification Thursday) was so emotional at first that I didn't think about it (continuing to compete) and then we knew if I came out and finished the second day, it would just make me stronger and be more of a learning experience for me. We (Coach Sloan) didn't talk about it until later when we got back to the hotel. I was in a state of shock and not talking for awhile. After I calmed down, I was able to talk about things we realized that to go and sit in the stands would be way worse. I'm also going to be there for Julie but to sit up there isn't right. I worked so hard for this I knew I had to come out and compete.'

When asked about her sister's Friday efforts, Julie Pickler said, 'It affected me a lot. I was in tears this morning with her. I know she was really crushed but I felt as crushed as she was. For her to go out and do it meant so much to me, I just couldn't imagine no having her out there. I know she had a rough time but I think she did it a lot for me. It says so much about who she is and what kind of athlete she is. It took a lot to not only finish her college hept but to be there for me. It was sad but she is moving on and looking to the positive.'

Commenting on her own performance at the NCAA Championships, Julie Pickler said, 'The hept had everything in it; in the hurdles I was happy to be under 14 (seconds), in the high jump I had a PR, shot didn't go that great and the 200 was horrible, long jump was a season-best, javelin was a little under a PR and then my 800 was great. It had more positives but they weren't fabulous marks but when you are kind of near your best it turns out to be a great score. So that is funny about the hept. I was happy with the end result, a PR. I can't ask for anything better. You hope to get better in each meet.'


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