Abbott Breaks 1,500-Meter School Record
School mile record-holder and five-time All-American Austin Abbott had one of the best races of his already storied career this evening at the NCAA Championships, as he broke the 22-year-old school record in the 1,500-meter run.
Running in the first of three semifinal heats, Abbott placed second in 3:39.63, which was the second-best time among all 27 prelim runners. That time eclipsed Bruce Stirling's 1987 school record of 3:39.89. Abbott had been shooting for that record for much of the year, and thought his best chance might have passed at the Mt. SAC Relays. He had been held in check in tactical, crowded races at Pac-10's and Regionals, but found room to run today.
In a nine-man field, Abbott was in the back of the pack early, but continually moved up and positioned himself at the back of the lead pack that included about five athletes. Around the final turn, Abbott continued to pick off runners, and kicked to the finish on the outside to finish just behind Wisconsin's Craig Miller. After seeing his time, Abbott raised his arms in triumph. Abbott's previous PR was 3:41.62 set in a win at the Stanford Invite this season.
Just a few minutes earlier, freshman Christine Babcock also advanced to the final of the women's 1,500-meters, running a PR of 4:16.10.
We'll have a post-race video interview with Abbott later tonight.
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