Nationally-Ranked Prep Runners Commit to Join WSU Track Teams

May 5, 2008

PULLMAN, Wash. -- Joe Abbott, a nationally-ranked middle distance runner from Reno, Nev., Brittnay Crabb, a nationally-ranked hurdler from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and Jacki Hill, an outstanding sprinter from Bremerton, Wash., have signed National Letters of Intent to attend and compete for the Washington State University track and field teams, Cougars track and field head coach Rick Sloan announced Monday.

Abbott, a senior at Reno's Galena High, ran a personal-record time in the 800m of 1-minute, 51.64 seconds which is ranked fourth-best nationally among prep boys this season. He won the boys' 800m race at the 2008 Simplot Games and set school records during his prep career in the 400m (49.86), 800m (1:51.64) and 4xmile relay (17:50.18) races. Abbott finished sixth individually and led his team to the Nevada state 4A cross country championship last fall. He was named to the first team all-region and first team all-state for cross country and has earned numerous first team all-region and all-state honors in several track events.

'We are so excited to have Joe on board next fall,' WSU cross country and distance coach Jason Drake said. 'We have done well with Reno athletes and WSU was a logical choice for him. Joe is currently No. 4 on the high school national list and I think he has only scratched his potential. Joe rounds out a great class of middle distance runners coming to WSU next year.'

Crabb, a senior at Rancho Cucamonga High, ran a 300m hurdles time of 42.57 seconds, which is ranked fifth nationally, at the 2008 Arcadia Invitational meet last month. Her lifetime-best time in the 300m hurdles is 42.36, run in 2006 at the California state meet where she reached the finals. At the 2008 Mt. SAC Relays, Crabb ran a 100m hurdles time of 14.59 seconds as well as clocked in a 55.4 seconds split time in the 4x400m relay. She will pursue a degree in criminal justice at Washington State.

'Brittnay is one of the best track and field athletes in the country,' WSU hurdles coach Mark Macdonald said. 'She has everything I look for in a 400m hurdler: she is smart, she is tough, works hard, and has huge talent. It is so great when the best athletes are also the best people. Her friendly and outgoing personality will make all Cougar fans proud.'

Hill will graduate from Bremerton High this spring after an accomplished prep athletic career playing soccer, basketball and running track. Hill was a four-time All-Olympic League selection in soccer and twice named to basketball all-league teams. She placed in the 200m at the last three state 3A championship meets, finishing fourth as a freshman, seventh as a sophomore and fifth as a junior with a time of 25.69 seconds. Last season Hill also captured second place in the state 400m dash in a time of 56.73 seconds. Hill graduates high school with a 3.9 grade point average and will pursue the sciences and education courses at WSU.

'Jacki specializes in the 400m dash but has the ability to sprint anywhere from 100m to 400m,' Cougar sprints coach Ellannee Richardson said. 'She has the potential to contribute to this team in many ways individually and on long relays as well. Jacki is an all-around student-athlete who does very well in the classroom and is very competitive on the track which will allow her to transition to the collegiate setting and find continued success. We have a great group of 400m runners in the freshman class of women. I look forward to watching them work together and with some of the veteran athletes.'

Abbott, Crabb and Hill, join 13 previously signed recruits for the 2008-09 Washington State University track and field teams:

Anna Albrecht, a thrower from Pullman, Wash.Brianna Atkins, a 400m runner from Claremont, Calif.Brianne Brown, a 400m runner from Shadle Park High, Spokane, Wash.,Morgan Clem, a hurdler from East Wenatchee, Wash.Michelly Foley, a distance runner from Crook County High, Prineville, Ore.Ashley Kenney, a discus thrower from Spokane Valley, Wash.Courtney Kirkwood, a heptathlete from Othello, Wash.Jono Lafler, a distance runner from Tahoma High, Maple Valley, Wash.Alex Ringe, a middle distance runner from Hermiston, Ore.Chris Selvar, an 800m runner from Kent, Wash.Mietra Smollack, a distance runner from Oak Harbor, Wash.Shawn Swartz, a high jumper from Port Coquitlam, British ColumbiaJessica Yates, a triple jumper from Snohomish, Wash.
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