Friday, September 9, 2016

Evan Jager Ends Season With Yearly Best

Evan Jager finished out the best season of his career in great style on Friday, placing second in the steeplechase in Brussels in 8:04.01, his fastest time of the year. Evan was just behind Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto, who capped his undefeated season with the victory in 8:03.74.

Evan and Kipruto broke free of the rest of the pack in the second kilometer. Evan ran just off Kipruto’s shoulder into the last lap. He started to come even over the last water jump, but then stumbled a bit coming out of the pit. Evan regrouped and again almost pulled even approaching the final barrier, but was unable to close the gap over the last 50 meters.

Back in March Evan said he had only two goals for the year: make the Olympic team, then medal in Rio. He accomplished both, and then some, repeating as Trials champion, followed by earning the Olympic silver medal, the best Olympic showing by an American steepler since 1952.

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

Colleen Quigley Sets PR in Paris

Colleen Quigley continued her excellent summer with a personal best of 9:20.00 to place ninth at the Paris Diamond League steeplechase on Saturday.

The race was the third since July in which Colleen set a PR. First, she ran 9:21.29 while finishing third at the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 7. Then she ran 9:2.10 to place eighth in the Olympic final on August 15. And now, 12 days later, 9:20.00.

The race was won by Olympic champion Ruth Jebet in a world record 8:52.78. With American Stephanie Garcia finishing eighth in 9:19.48, Colleen remains the fifth-fastest steepler in U.S. history.

Colleen has one more shot this year to join the sub-9:20 when she runs the Zurich Diamond League on September 1.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Colleen Quigley, Evan Jager in Post-Olympic Diamond League Meets

After excellent performances in Rio, Colleen Quigley and Evan Jager will continue their seasons at the Paris (Saturday, August 27), Zurich (Thursday, September 1), and Brussels (Friday, September 9) Diamond League Meets.

Colleen will run the steeplechase in Paris and Zurich. In her 8th-place finish in the Olympic final, Colleen lowered her personal best to 9:21.10. It was her second steeple PR of the year. Colleen is currently the fifth fastest American in history, and could well move up that list by September 1.

After his Olympic silver, Evan will take a short break from steepling to run the 5,000 in Zurich. Evan’s PR of 13:02.40 dates to 2013. A strong run in Paris could make Evan the seventh member of the U.S. sub-13:00 club, which includes his former teammates Chris Solinsky and Matt Tegenkamp.

Evan will return to the steeple in Brussels. We can think of at least one excellent way to finish off a great season.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Evan Jager Gets Olympic Silver in Steeplechase

With brave front running in the middle of the race, then a strong sprint in the final straightaway, Evan Jager won the silver medal in the Olympic steeplechase final on Wednesday morning. Both Evan (8:04.28) and gold medalist Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya (8:03.28) bettered the previous Olympic record of 8:05.51.

“I’m extremely happy,” Evan told Runner’s World. “It was indescribable. It was a lot of years of hard work and daydreaming and dreaming about the moment all coming true. I didn’t know I had a medal wrapped up until 100 meters to go. As soon as I got over the last barrier, I could fully enjoy it and that was very fun.”

Evan’s is the first Olympic medal by an American man in the steeple since Brian Diemer won bronze in 1984. His silver is the best U.S. showing in the Olympics since Horace Ashenfelter won in 1952.

In perhaps the ultimate compliment, two-time Olympic and four-time world champion Ezekiel Kemboi said after the race, “One day, one time, Evan Jager from the United States will be world champion or the Olympic champion.”

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Colleen Quigley, Courtney Frerichs Are 8th and 11th in Steeple Final

Bowerman Track Club teammates ran up to their potential and then some in Monday morning’s Olympic steeplechase final. Colleen placed 8th in 9:21.10, improving the personal best she set at the Olympic Trials in July. At the end of a long season that included the NCAA title, Courtney was 11th in 9:22.87, less than 2 seconds off the lifetime best she set at the Trials.

The race was fast up front almost from the start. Colleen and Courtney let the lead four, which included the three eventual medalists, go, and kept running strong to the finish. Among the runners they beat was defending champion Habiba Ghribi of Morocco, who placed 12th.

“I thought if everything went well, I could be in the top six,” Colleen told Runner’s World. “But on the other hand, I’m eighth in the world at my first Olympics and I feel that given the heat and the way I was feeling today, I’m proud of an eighth-place finish the first time here. It could have gone a lot better, but it could have been worse.”

Before the women’s final, Evan Jager won his steeple qualifying round to comfortably advance to Wednesday morning’s final.

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