Cougar Track & Field Sends Pair to NCAA Championships

March 7, 2006

NCAA INDOOR TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Two members of the Washington State University track and field team will be competing at the NCAA Div. I Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, at the Randal Tyson Track Center at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville...this is the 42nd Annual Men's NCAA Indoor Championship and the 24th Annual Women's Indoor Championships...pole vaulter Tamara Diles and pentathlete Julie Pickler will represent the Cougar women...Cougar sprinter James McSwain missed competing by 1/1000th of a second as his 60m dash provisional qualifying time of 6.69 seconds missed the cutoff of 6.68 seconds...results will be posted at

RETURN NCAA INDOOR TRIP: Tamara Diles (2002, 3rd pole vault; 2005, 9th pole vault), and Julie Pickler (2005, DNF pentathlon).

LAST YEAR AT NCAA MEET: Tyson Byers finished 10th in the men's pole vault but Darion Powell did not finish the heptathlon...Tamara Diles finished ninth in the pole vault...Diana Pickler finished 10th in the pentathlon while her sister Julie Pickler did not reach a legal long jump and did not finish the pentathlon.

ABOUT THE COUGAR COACHES: Head coach Rick Sloan is in his 33rd season with the Cougar track program; 12th year as a head coach, 11th 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), Mark Macdonald, Ellannee Richardson and Matt McGee...volunteer coach Andrea Thornton returns for her third year with the program...coaches Farwell, Macdonald, Richardson, McGee and Thornton all competed for WSU.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: WSU's women's team is ranked T21st in the Trackwire Online Top 25 national poll...this is the fifth week WSU women have been ranked...Texas women are ranked first...Pac-10 schools ranked (women) this week (March 7) include Stanford (2nd), Arizona State (4th), USC (t16th), UCLA (t18th), and Oregon (t21st)...two Cougars are included in Trackwire Online's Dandy Dozen list of the 2006 indoor season...the Dandy Dozen is a power ranking of the top 12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event...All-Americans multi-events specialist Julie Picker is ranked 4th and Tamara Diles is ranked 4th in the pole vault...Arkansas is the top-ranked men's team.

2006 NCAA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS COMPETITIVE SCHEDULE FOR COUGARS:(Converted to Pacific Standard Times)Saturday, March 119:30 a.m. Women's Pentathlon (60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, 800m) - Julie Pickler3:30 p.m. Women's Pole Vault - Tamara Diles

COUGARS' NCAA INDOOR QUALIFYING MARKS:* = Automatic, # = Provisional (National Standing)

Women:	60m Hurdles	Diana Pickler	# 8.41	(T45th)	High Jump	         Diana Pickler	# 1.78m / 5-10	(T21st)	Pole Vault	Tamara Diles	# 4.19m / 13-9	(5th))	Pentathlon	Julie Pickler	* 4180 points SR	(4th)Men:	60m Dash	         James McSwain	# 6.69	(T17th)

M-I-A COUGARS: Junior Diana Pickler (Sachse, Texas) has just returned to limited practice after injuring her foot during the pentathlon at the Cougar Indoor meet Jan. 27...Pickler, an All-American pentathlete and heptathlete during the 2005 seasons, had reached NCAA Provisional Qualifying marks in the high jump and 60m hurdles already this season but was not able to compete after Jan. 27...another Cougar All-American, junior pole vaulter Tyson Byers, suffered a strained hamstring, missing the indoor season, and is training for the outdoor season.


W Pole Vault - Tamara Diles (senior, Bellevue, Wash.) - Women's team captain

Holds school pole vault record for indoors at 14-3 1/4 (4.35m) set in 2002Holds school pole vault record for outdoors at 13-7 1/4 (4.15m) set in 20052006 season-best clearance is 13-9 (4.19m)Finished ninth at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships (4.10m / 13-5 1/4)Finished third at 2002 NCAA Indoor Championships (4.25m / 13-11 1/4)Pac-10 Championship finishes include 2nd in 2005, 9th in 2004 and 5th in 2003NCAA West Regional finishes include t8th in 2005, 12th in 2004 and t16th in 2003

Pentathlon - Julie Pickler (junior, Sachse, Texas)

Holds school pentathlon record with 4,180 points set in 2006Finished fifth in heptathlon at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships (5,650 points)DQ in pentathlon at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Championships after fouling all three long jump attemptsWon the 2005 Pac-10 heptathlon title (overtook twin sister and first-day leader Diana Pickler to win with PR and NCAA AQ 5,569 points - fourth-best in school historyStrongest pentathlon events are high jump, long jump and 60m hurdles - reached long jump PR this season of 19-6 3/4 (5.96m)

WASHINGTON STATE SCHOOL RECORDS SET IN 2006: New marks to add to the school records list are Haley Paul in the 3000m with her 9:40.30 time at the Husky Classic and Sara Trané with the freshman school record in the 800m with a time of 2:10.62 at the same Seattle meet Feb. 11...Julie Pickler broke her sister Diana's 2005 school record in the pentathlon Jan. 27...Pickler scored an NCAA Automatic Qualifying mark of 4,180 points to win and is the current national leader....freshman Robert Williams ran the WSU men's indoor freshman 60m hurdles record with his time of 8.18 seconds Jan. 28...Williams had tied the record of 8.23 the previous weekend at the WSU Open.

WRISTBAND FOR NYGARD: The WSU Track & Field teams are selling wristbands for senior hurdler Eric Nygard (Wenatchee, Wash.)...Nygard, a scorer in the 400m hurdles at the 2005 Pac-10 Championships, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 2005...after an initial treatment was thought to be in January 2006, he was informed the cancer had returned and began treatment that prevents him from competing with the WSU Track & Field team...still attending classes at WSU with goal to graduate in August and apply to dental schools...he is married and has an infant daughter...wristbands are black with a quote from Charles Beard, selected by Nygard, in yellow lettering, 'When it's dark enough, you can see the stars' and his initials, E.N...they cost $5 and come in medium and large sizes...arrangements to purchase a wristband can be made by contacting Cougar track and field assistant coach Ellannee Richardson at her office, 509-335-4730...additionally, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is also conducting a penny drive through donation containers in each WSU team's locker room with the proceeds going to Nygard...a benevolent account has been established at Washington Mutual Bank under his name for donations to assist with medical expenses and can be made at any WaMu branch.

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