March 11, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Washington State's Joe Abbott advanced to the men's 800m final while Holly Parent didn't fare as well in the women's high jump Friday at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium at the McFerrin Athletic Center on the Texas A&M campus.
Abbott, a junior from Reno, Nev., ran a prelim time in the men's 800m of 1-minute, 48.80 seconds which was the fifth-best time of the 16 men running in the prelims, as well as fifth-fastest in his heat. The top three finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times advanced to the Saturday 4:30 p.m. PT final. Abbott came into the championship meet with a personal-record time of 1:48.05, run last month in Seattle, which ranked 15th nationally. Fred Samoei, a senior from Alabama, had the top prelim time of 1:47.80. Abbott is the lone representative from the Pacific-10 Conference and the entire Western United States to make the final.
"Joe learned a valuable lesson at the NCAA Outdoor Regional competition last spring when he didn't race with urgency," Cougar assistant coach and head cross country coach Pete Julian said. "He put himself in a position for success today and beat as many guys as he could. His last lunge at the line put him in the final."
Parent, a sophomore from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, cleared 5-feet, 8 3/4 inches (1.74m) in the women's high jump for 15th place. Arizona sophomore Brigetta Barrett won the event after clearing 6-2 3/4 (1.90m).
"I feel like I was ready to jump so high and just couldn't quite get the ball rolling tonight," Parent said after the competition.