Sunday, June 25, 2017

Evan Jager Wins 6th Straight National Steeple Title

With a killer last lap of 56.70, Evan Jager won Sunday’s USATF steeplechase final in 8:16.88. Evan entered the bell lap leading a pack of four, but dispensed of them with his unmatchable finish; second finisher Stanley Kebenei was more than a second and a half back at the end.

The victory not only earned Evan a spot at August’s World Championships but was also his sixth straight U.S. steeple title, dating to 2012, his first year in the event. The only longer streak in modern times is Henry Marsh’s 7-year run from 1981 through 1987.

“I knew it was going to be hard,” Evan said afterward. “It was a little windy, so I didn’t want to be out in the lead for four and a half laps like last year. I wanted to wait and kind of trusted my speed and my hurdling form, my technique, against the rest of the guys.”

Evan is most likely far from his peak, given that Friday’s qualifying round was his first steeple of the year. Looking forward to London, where he’ll be joined by Bowerman Track Club teammates Amy Cragg (marathon), Emily Infeld (10,000), and Courtney Frerichs and Colleen Quigley (steeplechase).

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Frerichs, Quigley Make World Champs Steeple Team

The dynamic duo of Courtney Frerichs and Colleen Quigley placed second and third, respectively, in Saturday’s USATF steeplechase final to qualify for August’s World Championships in London.

In a race won by American record holder Emma Coburn in 9:20.28, Courtney and Colleen ran 9:22.23 and 9:25.40. This finish replicated the order at last year’s Olympic Trials.

Training partners Courtney and Colleen were in the lead group from the start, and, with Coburn, dropped the rest of the field by the end of the sixth lap.

London will mark Colleen’s second straight worlds appearance. At the Rio Olympics, she placed eighth and Courtney was 11th.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Emily Infeld Makes 10K World Champs Team

In only her second race of the year, Emily Infeld placed second in the USATF 10,000 Thursday night to earn a trip to August’s World Championships in London. On a day when the meet schedule was scuttled to account for extraordinary heat, Emily’s time of 31:22.67 was a 4-second PR. U.S. record holder Molly Huddle won in 31:19.86.

Emily’s teammate and training partner Shalane Flanagan boldly led the first 20 of the race’s 25 laps before finishing fourth in 31:31.12. The race was only Shalane’s second since last August’s Olympic Marathon, and she knew she needed to keep the pace honest because a lack of workouts wouldn’t serve her well in a kicker’s strategic race.

“This is the least prepared I’ve ever been for a race,” Shalane told Runner’s World afterward. “But I think it’s important to still show up when you are unprepared sometimes. That’s part of the job…I think it’s important to still show up and do your job.”

Colleen Quigley (second in the first heat) and Courtney Frerichs (first in the second heat) easily advanced to Saturday’s steeplechase final.

Izaic Yorks placed eighth in his 1500-meter qualifying round and didn’t advance to Saturday’s final.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Shalane Flanagan Returns to Racing With a Win

In her first race in 10 months, Shalane Flanagan was the easy winner of the 10,000 at the Portland Track Festival on Saturday.

After passing halfway in 16:00, Shalane started cranking out 75-second laps to finish in 31:38.68, 29 seconds ahead of runner-up Rachel Cliff.

It was a solid-and-then-some return to action for Shalane in her first race since placing sixth in the Olympic Marathon last August. Shalane suffered a slight fracture in her back over the winter and had to withdraw from the Boston Marathon. Saturday’s race came after just three weeks of workouts.

In Sunday’s action at the Portland Track Festival, Lopez Lomong was third in the 1500 (3:38.52), Jess Tonn was second in the 5,000 (15:33.13) and Natalja Piliusina was seventh in the 1500 (4:11.04).

Shalane will return to the track in less than two weeks for the USATF championships in Sacramento, California. She’s also slated to run the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta on July 4.

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Izaic Yorks Wins Furman Elite 1500

Izaic Yorks got his first win as a pro Saturday night at the Furman Elite Invitational in Greenville, South Carolina. Izaic ran 3:38.01 in the meet’s elite 1500 meters to lead the first five finishers under 3:39.0, the qualifying standard for this month’s USATF outdoor championships.

The win provided further evidence that Izaic is rounding into shape at the right time in his first full season as a professional athlete. Last month he set an 800-meter personal best of 1:47.59. Saturday’s win was just a quarter-second off his 1500 PR.

In the women’s elite 1500 at Furman, Nicole Sifuentes placed 4th in 4:06.24. The race was won by Marta Pen Freitas in 4:05.71.

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