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.