Former Cougars Top-Ranked in US Track & Field Events
Dec. 28, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - A trio of former Washington State University Track and Field competitors own the number one rankings among United States athletes in five different events while another two former Cougs are ranked in the top 10, according to the latest world and US rankings published in the January 2008 issue of Track & Field News magazine.
The magazine's rankings are based on a panel's interpretation of three criteria for a single season: honors won (including winning in major international competitions and maintaining high standards throughout the year), win-loss record, and sequence of marks or performances. The rankings are not reflective of best marks in an event that year, or how athletes would finish in an idealized competition. The athlete's best marks for the 2007 season are listed in parentheses below.
Bernard Lagat, who also was selected to the No. 6 spot on the magazine's top 10 men of 2007, is ranked first in the US men's 1500m (3:33.85)/mile, 3000m (7:32.43i), and 5000m (13:30.73) events. In the world rankings, Lagat is listed second in the 1500m/mile, third in the 3000m, and fourth in the 5000m lists. Last summer at Osaka, Japan, Lagat became the first man to win a 1500m and 5000m world championship double, claiming the US's first-ever 5000m medalist at the Worlds.
Ian Waltz is ranked first in the men's discus (67.98m/223-0) after a second-place finish at the USA Championships but did not advance to the finals at the World Championships.
Diana Pickler is ranked first in the women's heptathlon (6205) and is currently training with Washington State head coach Rick Sloan for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She was the runner-up at the USA Championships and placed 25th in the heptathlon at the World Championships in Osaka last summer.
Julie Pickler, Diana's twin sister, is ranked seventh in the US women's heptathlon rankings (5831) and finished sixth at the USA Championships last summer.
Dominique Arnold is ranked eighth in the men's 110m high hurdles (13.17), having been the runner-up at the USA Championships last summer.