It was not a picture perfect storybook ending for former Wazzu heptathlete Diana Pickler at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon – but she will take it. Pickler became the first Cougar to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, by squeezing into the third and final qualifying spot in the heptathlon with 6257 points – nudging out Virginia Johnson with 6247.
Pickler, who was the 2007 CougZone Athlete of the Year, came into Day Two in second place behind Hyleas Fountain and finished fourth in the long jump as Jacquelyn Johnson passed her for second place and Virginia Johnson closed in to fourth. In the next event – the javelin – Pickler had a nearly identical throw [42.40 meters to Virginia Johnson's 42.46 meters] as Virginia Johnson while Jacquelyn Johnson cemented her hold on second with a 47.71-meter toss. In the final event of the day, Pickler secured her ticket to Beijing by finishing the 800-meter at 2:16.59 – giving up only .71 of a second to Johnson [who finished at 2:15.88]. Diana's sister, Julie Pickler did not start the 800 meter race and did not advance to Beijing.
Also not advancing to Beijing is Wazzu freshman hurdling sensation Jeshua Anderson. Anderson entered the day with the fastest qualifying time in the preliminaries with a 49.05 but was unable to make it to the finals as he recorded a 48.92 – good enough for ninth place and just above teammate Eric Dudley, who finished in 49.37.
All results for the U.S. Olympic Trials may be found at the U.S. Track and Field site.
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