BURNABY, British Columbia--Washington State University alum Joe Abbott (left/photo by Paul Merca) earned the biggest win of his professional career as he emerged victorious in the 800 meter run at the Harry Jerome Track Classic at Swangard Stadium on a sunny Canada Day.
Clad in an all black kit with the Air Jordan logo that's given him a bit of a cult following within the running community, Abbott tucked back in about third or fourth through the first lap, then made a decisive move with about 200 meters to go.
Entering the home straight, Abbott held the lead and held off a charge by fellow Americans Michael Rutt and Charles Jock, crossing the line in a personal best time of 1:45.35, with Rutt second at 1:45.90, and Jock third at 1:46.56.
Abbott, who did not get out of the semifinals at the USA championships in Des Moines, said, "I wanted to get back to what I was doing well earlier in the season, and that's to sit back in about second or third, and make a strong move at 600."
Abbott, who trained in Pullman during the school year, but returned to his hometown of Reno, Nevada, eclipsed his previous PR set at the Portland Track Classic last month.
The former USA junior champion, who is competing without the benefit of a shoe and apparel contract, will race next at the Victoria International meet.
Competing in her first meet after obtaining sponsorship from Seattle based women's apparel company Oiselle, Spokane native Britney Henry finished second in the hammer throw with a toss of 224-6 (68.44m).
In the rarely contested 600 meter run, Casmir Loxsom, the former Penn State standout who recently signed with Brooks, and is now part of the Seattle based Brooks Beasts training group led by Danny Mackey, finished second in a time of 1:14.84, behind national 800m champ Duane Solomon, who ran 1:13.28, the second fastest time ever run at this distance.
Washington State University's Holly Parent, finished second in the high jump with a best of 5-7 (1.70m).