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 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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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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