July 30, 2009
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago -- Washington State sophomores-to-be Joe Abbott and Courtney Kirkwood are members of the USA team competing at the 2009 Pan American Athletics Championship, July 31-Aug. 2, at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Abbott, from Reno, won the USA junior men's 800m final with a time of 1:51.54, after running the top time in the prelims of 1:49.78 at Hayward Field in Eugene last month. Abbott finished seventh in the 2009 Pac-10 800m championship and ran a PR time of 1:48.97 in the prelims of the NCAA West Regionals.
Kirkwood, from Othello, finished third at the USA Junior meet with a throw of 146-feet, 9 inches (44.74m) but was officially invited to join the US Junior team after one of the top two placers could not compete at the Pan Am Championships. Kirkwood threw a PR toss of 170-8 (52.01m) during the 2009 collegiate season. She finished seventh at the Pac-10 Championships with a throw of 147-6 (44.96m) and 10th at the NCAA West Regionals with a toss of 137-0 (41.77m).
The 2009 Pan American Junior Athletics Championship will showcase many of the top international junior athletes, age 16 to 19 as of December 31, 2009. The U.S. Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Eugene served as the U.S. selection meet for the Pan Am Championships.