Day 1 of the Texas Relays

Texas native Diana Pickler leads the heptathlon after the first day of competition at the Texas Relays

Editor's note: On Friday and Saturday, Chronicle Associate News Editor Lee Nichols will be keeping an up-to-the-minute blog of the Texas Relays for Track & Field News magazine.

The first day of the University of Texas' great track-and-field spectacle is in the books, with the main highlights coming in the multi-events.

The big story is in the seven-event women's heptathlon, where Texas native Diana Pickler of Washington State (the 2005 champion) is leaving the rest of the field far behind, racking up 3,767 points in the first four events (100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, and 200-meter dash; certain point values are awarded according to the time or mark recorded in each). She has won three of those four events and enjoys a probably insurmountable lead of 306 points over UT-San Antonio's Ryanne Dupree. Pickler's sister Julie (the 2006 champion) is currently in third at 3,425. The remaining three events (long jump, javelin, and 800-meter run) begin Thursday at noon. Admission Thursday is free.

The main story in the men's 10-event decathlon is who is not competing: After a long, hard indoor season, UT All-American Donovan Kilmartin decided not to compete today, nor did his former Longhorn teammate and defending Texas Relays champion Trey Hardee, who presumably is resting up for the European professional season coming up this summer. Currently leading is UTSA's Brandon Buteaux at 3,871; compare that number to Hardee's first-day total last year of 4,402, en route to an NCAA record 8,465 (Kilmartin finished second at an also-impressive 7,897), and you get an idea of how much the event suffers by not having them on the track. The decathlon resumes Thursday at 11am.

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