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, February 12, 2017

KIMbia Runners Get in Their Weekend Miles

It was a busy weekend for KIMbia’s track athletes, with runners doing indoor miles at three different meets, highlighted by a huge Colleen Quigley PR and a resurgent Lopez Lomong.

Colleen got things off to an exciting start at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational at Boston University on Friday. She ran 4:24.88 for second in the fast heat of the mile, just behind her Bowerman Track Club teammate and fellow 2016 Olympian Shelby Houlihan (4:24.16). The two times were, briefly, world-leading marks until Saturday’s Millrose Games. More important, Colleen notched a 4-second PR.

At Millrose, Nicole Sifuentes placed 7th in the Wanamaker Mile in 4:29.27, and Izaic Yorks ran 4:01.64 for 10th in the men’s Wanamaker mile.

Later on Saturday, Lopez Lomong and Evan Jager went 1-2 in the fast heat of the mile at the Husky Classic in Seattle. Both were time in 3:56.55, with Lopez getting the nod on place. Lopez’s run was his best race of the past year and an encouraging sign for 2017.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Evan Jager Ranked #2 in the World for 2016

For the second time in the last three years, Track & Field News has ranked Evan Jager second in the world in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The ranking was pretty much a no-brainer, given Evan’s Olympic silver behind Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto, who got the gold in Rio and the 2016 #1 spot.

Also making T&FN‘s vaunted year-end list:

  • Shalane Flanagan, #1 on the U.S. marathon list.
  • Emily Infeld, #2, U.S. 10,000 meters (and #5, U.S. 5K).
  • Colleen Quigley, #2, U.S. steeple.
  • Amy Cragg, #3, U.S. marathon.
  • Courtney Frerichs, #3, U.S. steeple.
  • Izaic Yorks, #10, U.S. 1500.

Shalane topped the U.S. marathon list for the fourth time in the last five years. Emily’s #2 at 10K was her second consecutive year there. Izaic made his first of what we assume will be many appearances in the rankings.

Evan, of course, got the top U.S. ranking in the steeple. It was his fifth straight such ranking since 2012, the year he took up the event. The last American man to have a longer streak at #1 in the steeple was Henry Marsh, who was ranked the top U.S. steepler from 1978 through 1983. Evan also picked up a #7 ranking on the U.S. 5K list, and tied with 1500-meter Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz for 5th in the overall U.S. rankings.

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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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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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