Cougar Track Sends Five to Pac-10 Combined Championships

May 3, 2005

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CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON IS ON FOR COUGARS TRACK: Washington State University will be represented by three heptathletes and two decathletes at the Pacific-10 Conference Combined Events Championships, Saturday and Sunday, May 7-8, at UCLA's Drake Stadium...redshirt sophomores Diana Pickler and Julie Pickler, and junior Katie Miller are the WSU women competing in the heptathlon...junior Darion Powell and sophomore Brandon Brownell are the Cougar men competing in the conference decathlon (see brief bios below)...a very limited number of Cougars will also be competing at the Vandal Jamboree, May 6-7 at Moscow, Idaho, or in graduation ceremonies at WSU...the track and field coaching staff plans to have the team train around WSU finals (May 2-6) and prepare for the Pac-10 Championships the following weekend in L.A...for results, go to the official WSU website,

MULTI-TASKING COUGARS: This will be the first conference Combined Events Champs for Brandon Brownell and Katie Miller...Diana Pickler was fourth at the 2003 heptathlon while Darion Powell was the runner-up that year in the decathlon...both were injured and did not compete in the 2004 Pac-10 Combined Events but Julie Pickler did, and placed sixth.

PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Combined Events will be followed by the individual and team championships May 14 and 15, at Los Angeles...a complete schedule can be found at

NO QUALIFYING MARKS NEEDED FOR PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: This is the first year the Pacific-10 Conference will forego its own set of qualifying marks for entrance into its championships meet...instead, a maximum of 24 women and 24 men may be entered in the conference championships meet at each head coach's marks from the indoor and outdoor season will be used for seeding into the championship heats/flights...Pac-10 website will post a PDF version each Monday by 6 p.m.

COUGS RANKED IN NATIONAL POLLS: The WSU women's team stayed ranked in a tie for 13th in the Trackwire Online Top 25 this week (tied with Alabama and Arizona State)...the Cougar men are unranked nationally...teams holding top rankings this week are Texas women and Arkansas men...UCLA (2nd) is the top Pac-10 women's team ranked as are Arizona's men (4th)...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: Diana Pickler (2nd heptathlon), Julie Pickler (7th heptathlon), Tamara Diles (3rd pole vault), Rachel Bertholf (10th javelin), James McSwain (6th 100m dash), and Darion Powell (10th decathlon)...Team Power Rankings is a unique system of ranking teams on the basis of quality of athletic performance, team depth, and dual meet scoring potential...WSU men are 11th and the Cougar women are 11th (as of 5/3/05).

EASY VIEWING OF PAC-10 PERFORMANCE LISTS: This year the Pacific-10 Conference performance descending order lists can be viewed online at login or password is needed, just click on Performance Lists and under Current Seasons, click again on Pac-10 Outdoor Track & Field Performance Lists...for a printable version, go to the Pac-10 website,, click on Track & Field page and the 2005 Performance lists are listed on the right side of the page in a printable version and as a PDF.

ABOUT THE COUGAR COACHES: Head coach Rick Sloan is in his 32nd season with the Cougar track program; 11th year as a head coach, 10th 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), Kris Grimes, Mark Macdonald, and Ellannee Richardson...volunteer coaches are Michael Friedberg, Matt McGee and Andrea Thornton.

Brandon Brownell (Sophomore, Olympia, Wash.) - Has only competed in one collegiate decathlon, the 2004 California Multi-Events Meet (Berkeley) with 6,847 points...injuries kept him away from competition for rest of 2004 season...did not compete for Cougars indoor 2004 to even up eligibility seasons.

Katie Miller (junior, Vancouver, Wash.) - Accumulated 4,865 points for heptathlon fifth place at the 2005 California Multi Events Meet at Berkeley...two weeks later, finished 11th in the heptathlon at the 2005 Texas Relays heptathlon scored 4,894 points...PR of 4,988 points came last spring at Clark Community College.

Diana Pickler (redshirt sophomore, Sachse, Texas) - Won the 2005 Texas Relays heptathlon with NCAA Provisional Qualifying total and PR of 5,492 points (fourth best in WSU history) the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships, scored 4,000 points in pentathlon for 10th place and All-America status...2004 season redshirt due to foot injury...finished fourth in the heptathlon at the 2003 Pac-10 Championships (5,254 points) 2003 NCAA Championships, fell in the heptathlon 800m and watched sixth-place standing and All-America status disappear...finished 27th with 4,586 points after ending first day in ninth.

Julie Pickler (redshirt sophomore, Sachse, Texas) - Finished second to her twin sister Diana at the 2005 Texas Relays heptathlon with NCAA Provisional Qualifying total and PR of 5,414 points (sixth best in WSU history)...fouled on all three long jump attempts at the 2005 NCAA Indoor pentathlon the 2004 Pac-10 heptathlon finished sixth with 4,938 points...earlier in 2004, reached NCAA Provisional Qualifying with 5,135 points for eighth place at the Mt. SAC heptathlon but missed NCAA Championships by one point.

Darion Powell (junior, Kirkland, Wash.) - Earned All-America honors with 2003 fourth place decathlon finish (PR 7,511 points) after second-place at Pac-10 Championships (7,386 points)...stress fracture in right foot kept him from 2004 Pac-10 the 2005 NCAA Indoor heptathlon, earlier bout with flu had effect on performance, did not clear a height in high the 2005 Texas Relays decathlon, was in third place after three events and failed to clear a bar in the high jump and withdrew.

Justin Ireland VERSUS BIKE = BAD FINISH: Justin Ireland (redshirt junior, Issaquah, Wash.) had just started his training run Wed., April 13, when he was struck by a bicyclist riding on a sidewalk parallel to Stadium Way where Flag Lane intersects the road...impact of the collision caused Ireland to receive serious facial injuries, including broken bones around his left eye which were surgically repaired Tues., April 19...he had run a 1500m NCAA RQ time March 26...he is not expected to compete for the rest of the year.

COUGS AT VANDAL JAMBOREE: The following 14 men and five women are entered in the Vandal Jamboree Track Meet, Sat., May 7, at Moscow, Idaho.

Martin Boston - 100m, 200m
Kyle Eaton - high jump
Tyler Fischback - 400m hurdles
Bob Frey - 110m hurdles
Ben Hampton - triple jump
Nick Isaac - long jump
Jon Jeffreys - javelin
Mason Kien - long jump
Josh Leyk - 400m hurdles
Jarrell Nelson - 100m, 200m
Jaycee Robertson - 100m, 200m
Ryan Scott - javelin
Ryan Thomas - high jump
Drew Ulrick - discus

McKenzie Burgess - shot put, discus, hammer
Selena Galaviz - 400m
McKinnon Hanson - high jump
Brandi Probasco-Canda - 200m
Kameko Wilson - 200m

D. PICKLER PAC-10 WOMEN'S FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK (April 4-10): WSU heptathlete Diana Pickler was honored as the Women's Field Athlete of the Week for the Pacific-10 Conference outdoor track and field...the redshirt sophomore from Sachse, Texas, won Texas Relays heptathlon with an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark and PR 5492 the time, she led the nation and was the second-best mark by an American woman this year...she had the top mark in four of the seven events.

James McSwain PAC-10 MEN'S TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK (April 11-17): WSU junior James McSwain was named the Pac-10 Men's Track Athlete of the Week for winning the Mt. SAC Relays men's University/Open 100m dash with the second-fastest time in the world this year, 10.19 is the top time in the US to date and behind only Australia's Joshua Ross' world-leading time of 10.12...also the second-fastest non-wind-aided time in Cougar men's history, behind Anson Henry's 2002 time of 10.17 (also run at the Mt. SAC Relays) and tied with Augustin Olobia's 1991 time of 10.19 (Eugene)...McSwain also ran a 200m NCAA RQ time of 20.85, and ran the second leg of the 4x100m relay season-best time of 40.24.

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