April 15, 2005
WALNUT, Calif. - Husky freshman Austin Abbott ran into the UW history books Friday at the prestigious Mt. SAC Relays, breaking Washington's freshman record in the 1,500 meters. The outstanding performance kicks off three days of action for UW at the prestigious meet, celebrating its 47th-consecutive year on the Mt. San Antonio College campus in Walnut, Calif.
Abbott's time of 3 minutes, 44.36 seconds -- tops in the nation this year by a college freshman -- broke by half a second the Washington freshman record of 3:44.91 set just last year by Auburn-Riverside alum Carl Moe. Already ranked among the nation's top-10 competitors in the 800 meters, Abbott's mark places him among the NCAA's top-15 at 1,500 meters, and is the second-fastest 1,500-meter mark by a Pac-10 runner of any age in 2005.
A graduate of Chehalis High School, Abbott was one of three UW freshmen to earn All-America honors at last month's NCAA Indoor Championships, helping the Huskies' distance medley relay squad to a fifth-place finish.
"Austin has certainly planted the seeds of what should be a tremendous collegiate career," said third-year head coach Greg Metcalf. "His race today was good, but it also shows just how much more he's really capable of."
Friday's competition at Mt. SAC was dominated by the event's annual distance carnival, always held on day one of the three-day meet which features more than 1,000 of the nation's top prep, collegiate and post-collegiate competitors.
In addition to Abbott's record-setting mark, senior Andrew Robinson (Edmonds, Wash./Edmonds-Woodway) clocked a time of 9:27.70 in the men's steeplechase to move into the top-10 of the 2005 Pac-10 Conference Rankings, while senior Grace Vela -- who withdrew from this week's Mt. SAC heptathlon after six events due to a lingering injury -- cleared a wind-aided 18 feet, 8 ½ inches in the women's long jump. Indoor All-Americans Lindsey Egerdahl (15th, 1,500 meters, 4:24.24) and Andy Fader (15th, 1,500 meters, 3:51.42) also competed Friday, while junior Mark Mandi was to compete in the 10,000-meter run late Friday night.
For complete results from this weekend's Mt. SAC Relays, including a live webcast of all events Saturday and Sunday, visit http://vm.mtsac.edu/relays/2005.