Pickler Completes Three-Peat

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State volunteer coach Diana Pickler tallied her third consecutive USA Indoor Combined Events Championship in Indiana this past weekend as she scored 4,544 points in the pentathlon to win the event. Following close behind in second place was another K-State volunteer coach, Bettie Wade as she tallied 4,469 points. Assistant coach Tom Pappas finished second in the heptathlon as well in a very tight competition with Jake Arnold.

Pickler jumped out to an early lead winning the 60 meter hurdles in 8.31 seconds to open the competition. Wade then won the next two events leaping 6-00.75 in the high jump and posting 44-10.25 in the shot put. Pickler jumped more than a foot farther than anyone in the field in the long jump to score 937 points. Wade finished second and scored 828. Pickler closed the pentathlon finishing second in the 800 meters to put the final touch on her third straight title.

Pappas battled over the two days of competition with Arnold as the pair separated themselves from the rest of the field following the 60 meter hurdles. Arnold bested Pappas by just .04 seconds in the 60 meters to open the heptathlon. Pappas finished second in the long jump to move into the lead and extended that lead with a strong showing in the shot put.

Arnold and Pappas went into the final three events in a close race with Skyler Reising. Pappas led with 3,327 points with Reising at 3,255 and Arnold in third with 3,212. Reising would struggle in the hurdles to provide the gap necessary for Arnold and Pappas to turn it into a two-man fight finishing first and second in the hurdles.

Arnold and Pappas would finish first and second in the pole vault as well with Arnold clearing two heights more than Pappas to narrow the gap two just 47 points heading into the final event. Arnold went on to win the 1,000 meters and best Pappas by six seconds and score 63 more points in the final event to get the come-from-behind win over K-State's assistant coach 5,861 to 5,845. It also is Arnold's third straight title.

1: Diania Pickler, 4544
2: Bettie Wade, 4469
3: Sharon Day, 4467
4: Abbie Stechschulte, 4130
5: Kirby Blackley, 4004
6: Bridgette Ingram, 3944
7: Elizabeth Roehrig, 3893

1: Jake Arnold, 5861
2: Tom Pappas, 5845
3: Skyler Reising, 5487
4: Patrick Woods, 5427
5: John Strang, 5251
6: Edward Broadbent, 4861

- k-statesports.com -