Thursday, July 30, 2009

WSU's Joe Abbott & Courtney Kirkwood along with UW's Angus Taylor at Junior Pan-Ams in Trinidad...

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago -- Washington State sophomores-to-be Joe Abbott (left/photo courtesy WSU Sports Information) 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.

Abbott's qualifying race will be held Saturday August 1st, with the finals the following day.

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 women's javelin competition will be held on Sunday August 2nd.

The University of Washington's Angus Taylor will represent Canada at the Junior Pan-Ams in the hammer throw, which will be contested on Saturday August 1st.

Taylor, from Richmond, British Columbia is the reigning junior national champion in his event.

Kendra Schaaf, the outstanding distance runner for the Huskies and a key cog to the Dawgs' national cross country championship last fall, opted not to compete in Trinidad despite winning two Canadian junior titles at 1500 and 5000 meters.

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, while the Canadian team was selected at their national championships in Charlottestown.

For a complete schedule and results of the Pan Am Junior Championships, please click here to access the meet web site.
NOTE: Washington State University, the University of Washington, USA Track & Field, and Athletics Canada contributed to this report.

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