Mikesh Wins High Jump at Pac-10 Track & Field Championships

May 14, 2005


LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- The Washington State women's track and field team is in second place after the first day of the 75th Annual Men's and 19th Annual Women's Pacific-10 Conference Track & Field Championships at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus Saturday.

In team scoring after seven events, Stanford leads the women's teams with 61 points and the WSU women are in second with 54.5 points. The Cougar women entered Saturday's competition with 20 points from the first, second and seventh place heptathlon finishes last weekend from Julie Pickler, Diana Pickler and Katie Miller. After eight event finals for men, the Oregon men's team leads with 63.5 points while the Cougar men are ninth with 12.5 points, ten of which came from Darion Powell's decathlon victory last weekend.

The Cougar women added 20.5 points in the high jump as junior Robin Mikesh (Sumner, Wash.) won the event with a lifetime-best and improved NCAA Regional Qualifying clearance at 5-feet, 10 inches (1.78m). Oregon heptathlete Lauryn Jordan also cleared 5-10 but Mikesh won on fewer misses. Julie Pickler took third after clearing a PR and NCAA RQ height of 5-8 3/4 (1.75m), while McKinnon Hanson and Diana Pickler were among five women to clear 5-7 (1.70m) with Hanson claiming sixth and D. Pickler taking seventh based on missed attempts. Mikesh's mark is the sixth-best women's high jump in WSU history.

Jenna Dean finished second in the women's javelin throw with a PR, improved NCAA RQ and bettered her own school record with her throw of 168-11 (51.49m). Earlier in the season she tossed a WSU record of 169-7. Rachel Bertholf placed fourth with a best toss on the day of 154-10 (47.19m). Oregon's Sarah Malone won the javelin with a mark of 170-9 (52.04m).

Adding a point to the women's total was Kelly Ramirez with an eighth place finish in the 10,000m race with a time of 37:29.94. Stanford's Alicia Craig won in a time of 34:02.79.

The Cougar men's points Saturday came from Paul Nicoletti sixth place tie in the men's pole vault after clearing 16-6 3/4 (5.32m). UCLA's Yoo Kim won the pole vault at 17-9 (5.41m).

In addition to the high jump, Diana Pickler also ran the sixth-fastest 100m hurdles prelim time of 13.82 seconds and will compete in the Sunday final. Other WSU women moving into the final races includes Brandi Probasco-Canda who ran the 400m dash in a time of 55.75 and took the ninth and final spot in that final. Freshman Haley Paul advanced to the 1500m final after running the eighth best time in the prelims of 4:32.75.

Advancing from the prelims on the men's side is James McSwain who ran the fourth-fastest 100m dash qualifying time Saturday of 10.35 seconds, but did not advance in the 200m dash with a ninth place prelim time of 21.24. Both John Cassleman and Eric Nygard will be running in the 400m hurdles final as Cassleman's time of 52.21 was fifth-fastest and Nygard's 53.29 time was ninth in the prelims.

In the men's javelin, Ryan Scott finished 10th with a best toss of 194-3 (59.22m) and Jon Jeffreys finished 12th with a throw of 191-6 (58.36m). Ryan Thomas finished 14th in the long jump, managing only one legal jump on his last attempt 21-3 1/2 (6.49m).

McKenzie Burgess' shot put throw of 41-11 1/2 (12.79m) was 13th and her only legal throw of the three attempts. Katie Miller took 10th in the high jump with a leap of 5-5 (1.65m).

In the women's steeplechase final, Kayle Peterson finished ninth in a time of 11:05.19 while Meghan Leonard's time of 11:26.22 was 13th. In the men's steeplechase final, Cougars Alex Grant (9:11.02), Phil Hinrichs (9:24.65), and Chris Concha (9:36.77) finished 11, 12th and 13th, respectively. Andrew Jones was 15th in the men's 10,000m race with a time of 31:56.80.

Cougar women who competed in prelim action Saturday but did not advance to Sunday finals included Nicole Hatcher (16th, 100m, season-best time of 12.19; 18th, 200m, time of 24.82), La Shawnda Porter (18th, 100m, time of 12.24; 16th, 200m, time of 24.62), Molly Bull (15th, 1500m, time of 4:43.62),

Non-qualifying prelims efforts for Cougar men included Jaycee Robertson (13th, 100m, time of 10.62; 12th, 200m, time of 21.40), Martin Boston (T14th, 100m, time of 10.69), Justin Chambers (15th, 800m, time of 1:53.73), Darion Powell (13th, 110m hurdles, time of 14.67),

'The women are doing a good job,' Cougar Head Coach Rick Sloan said. 'They are really competing up a notch. All the high jumpers did a good job. And Jenna and Rachel did a good job in the javelin once they relaxed and went after it. Kelly Ramirez listened to coach Jason Drake and knew what her competition was going to do and ran a smart race. We should score some points tomorrow. Diana (Pickler) should score in the middle of the hurdles and Brandi (Probasco-Canda) can get there in the 400m. That 1500m race is really strong but Haley (Paul) has a chance. We should do okay in the short relay and better in the long relay. We're counting on Tamara Diles to do well in the pole vault and Sarah (Burns) and Kaylee (Gardner) may just move us up with their triple jump performances. We'll be battling to be in the fifth or sixth place range on the women's side.'

'The WSU men can maybe score between 20-25 points tomorrow but probably can't move up much from where we are today,' Sloan said. 'Without Tyson Byers in the pole vault and we pulled Darion (Powell) from the long jump because of a sore calf. We're a pretty young team and we have some great recruits coming in for next year but the women's team popped back a lot quicker than the men's.'

The Pac-10 Track & Field Championships continue Sunday, May 15, at UCLA's Drake Stadium. The final event is slated for 5:35 p.m.

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