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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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Shalane Flanagan, Amy Cragg Place 6th and 9th in Olympic Marathon

Training partners Shalane Flanagan and Amy Cragg gave it their all Sunday morning in Rio, and placed sixth and ninth in a warm, humid and sunny Olympic marathon.

Shalane stayed with the leaders through 35K en route to running 2:25:26 and placing sixth, four positions higher than she finished at the London Games in 2012.

Amy and Shalane ran together throughout the first part of the race, until Amy lost contact between 25K and 30K. After slipping to 11th place at 40K, Amy fought back over the final mile-plus to move up to ninth, in 2:28:25.

With Amy’s college teammate Desiree Linden finishing eighth, the U.S. squad had the best showing ever by an American team in the women’s Olympic marathon.

“I told Desi at the finish, ‘I’m so proud of us.,’ ” Shalane told Runner’s World. “We came here ready to run hard and I felt like we did.”

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Monday, July 11, 2016

What a Great Olympic Trials

KIMbia runners nailed it at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Those who didn’t make the team for Rio put themselves in the best position to qualify for as long as possible. Here’s a summary of the goings-on.

Women’s 10,000, July 2: Emily Infeld stuck with eventual winner Molly Huddle for 24 of 25 laps and finished second to make her first Olympic team. And she did so in her outdoor season opener! Emily’s race in Rio, the first final of the Games, will be on August 12.

Women’s steeplechase, July 7: Courtney Frerichs had the fastest last lap and moved from fourth at the bell to finish second. Colleen Quigley was just behind her. With their times of 9:20.92 and 9:21.29, Courtney and Colleen are now third and fourth on the all-time U.S. list. Olympic steeple qualifying rounds will be run on August 13, with the final on August 15.

Men’s steeplechase, July 8: Evan Jager took control with four laps to go and was never challenged en route to his second straight Trials victory (and fifth consecutive national title). Evan’s qualifying round in Rio will be on August 15, with the final on August 17.

Men’s 5,000, July 9: Lopez Lomong hung with the lead pack through the bell lap and finished tenth.

Women’s 5,000, August 10: Emily Infeld again stuck to Molly Huddle as long as possible and finished fourth. With Huddle opting to run only the 10,000 in Rio, Emily was eligible for the third 5,000 spot, but she too decided to focus on the 10,000 at the Games; fifth finisher Abbey D’Agostino was therefore named to the team. (Jess Tonn was unable to start her qualifying round on July 7 because of a foot problem.)

Men’s 1500, August 10: In his first meet as a pro, Izaic Yorks showed he’ll be a force to deal with. Izaic assured his spot in the final by winning his semi-final. Izaic needed the Olympic standard of 3:36.20 and bravely went out to get it in the final before a long season caught up to him and he finished tenth.

In all, seven KIMbia runners will compete in Rio. In addition to the new additions to the U.S. team, Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan will run the marathon (August 14), and Tom Farrell will contest the 5,000 (first round on August 17, final on August 20).

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Evan Jager Repeats as Olympic Trials Steeple Champ

Make that Evan Jager, two-time Olympian. The U.S. record holder won his fifth straight national steeplechase title, and second consecutive Olympic Trials, Friday in Eugene, Oregon. Taking over in the second half of the race, Evan won in 8:22.48.

After a slow opening, Evan took the lead in the third full lap and stayed there to the end. A 64-second lap started to split the field, and subsequent 62-second circuits finished everyone off.

Back in February, Evan said he cares about only two races this year, the Olympic Trials final and the Olympic final. So far, so good!

Also on Friday,  Izaic Yorks won his heat of the 1500 semis to advance in the best possible way to Sunday’s final.

For those keeping track at home, Evan is the sixth KIMbia member of the Bowerman Track Club to make the U.S. team for Rio, along with Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan in the marathon, Emily Infeld in the 10,000, and Courtney Frerichs and Colleen Quigley in the steeplechase.

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Courtney Frerichs, Colleen Quigley PR to Get Olympic Steeple Spots

New Bowerman Track Club teammates Courtney Frerichs and Colleen Quigley will now also be Olympic teammates, after they finished second and third, respectively, in Thursday night’s steeplechase final at U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon.

Both set a personal best, with Courtney running 9:20.92 to take three and a half seconds off the PR she ran while setting the NCAA record last month, and Colleen close behind in 9:21.29, more than three seconds faster than her previous best, set last year. The times make Courtney and Colleen the third and fourth fastest Americans in history.

U.S. record holder Emma Coburn defended her 2012 title with the win in 9:17.48.

Courtney had the fastest last lap of anyone in the race, which moved her from fourth to second.

“I crossed with 400 to go in fourth and I just told myself I was not going to be getting fourth,” she told Runner’s World. “I have confidence in my last 400.”

The Trials was Courtney’s first meet as a pro. Colleen ran her seasonal steeple opener in Monday’s qualifying round. Clearly, there are great times ahead for both.

Courtney and Colleen will be joined in Rio by Bowerman Track Club teammates Amy Cragg (marathon), Shalane Flanagan (marathon) and Emily Infeld (10,000 meters).

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