Diles Third in Pole Vault at NCAA Indoor Championships

March 8, 2002

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Washington State freshman Tamara Diles finished third in the women's pole vault during the first day of the NCAA Div. I Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships being held at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.

Diles, from Newport High School, Bellevue, Wash., became only the eighth Cougar woman to achieve All-America status at the indoor championships with her clearance of 13-feet, 11 1/4 inches (4.25m). Arizona sophomore Amy Linnen broke her own collegiate record with her winning clearance of 14-10 1/4 (4.53m). Tracy O'Hara, UCLA senior, finished second after clearing the identical height of Diles but O'Hara cleared on her first attempt while Diles needed her third attempt for clear passage.

Diles opened the indoor season and her collegiate career with a WSU school record mark of 14-3 1/4 to win the elite level of competition at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Jan. 11. She then spent much of the next six weeks resting a sore foot in a soft walking boot and had very limited training and competition.

'I knew this was a big meet but I was not out of focus,' Diles said Friday night from Fayetteville. 'I didn't let my foot affect me. When I got to the third attempts at 13-7 and 13-11, I was really nervous but I knew I had lots of nerve and I battled through.'

Diles' third place finish gave the WSU women six points in the team competition which tied the Cougars with Arizona State and Stanford for 18th. The Louisiana State women lead after the seven finals of day one with 21 points while the Alabama's men are in the lead with 26 points.

WSU's Anson Henry, a senior from Pickering, Ontario, Canada, qualified for the Saturday night final of the men's 60m dash. Henry ran his preliminary heat in 6.65 seconds, finishing fourth in the heat but had the seventh fastest time overall. Only eight of the 16 runners advanced to the final led by Leonard Scott, a senior from Tennessee who clocked in with a 6.55 time in the prelims. Henry's Friday night prelim time equaled his Washington State school record 60m time of 6.65 seconds.

'Anson had a good start but was passive through the main part of the race,' Sloan said. 'He needs to execute his power through his acceleration tomorrow.'

Anthony Buchanan, a sophomore from Spokane, Wash., did not qualify for the men's 200m final after running a time of 21.15 in the prelims. Buchanan's time was 10th among the 15 runners and only eight advanced to the Friday night final. Tennessee sophomore Justin Gatlin, the leader out of the prelims with a time of 20.64, ran 20.63 in the final for first place.

'Anthony had a good run but was a little shaky on the steeply banked track here,' Sloan said. 'He did a good job under the circumstances and missed All-America status by just one place.'

Saturday's action includes WSU's Whitney Evans and Schquay Brignac in the women's high jump event in addition to Henry running in the men's 60m dash final.

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