Monday, June 25, 2018

Jager storms to seventh straight US title


Evan Jager secured his seventh consecutive US title in the 3000m steeplechase with a peerless display on the final day of action in Des Moines, Iowa, on what was a good evening for the Kimbia contingent with recent recruit Karissa Schweizer also taking a bronze medal over 5000m.

Jager unleashed a sub-60-second final lap to win in a stadium record of 8:20.10, well clear of Hillary Bor (8:22.58) and Andy Bayer (8:24.66). Fellow Kimbia athlete MJ Erb had another strong showing, repeating his 7th-place finish in this event last year and coming home in 8:29.09.

The biggest threat to Jager came not from his rivals but from the weather, with a thunderstorm halting action in Des Moines for a couple of hours shortly before he was due to take to the line. However, Jager explained afterward that it had little effect on him.

“I was ready to go at 1 [a.m], 2 [a.m.], whenever, it didn’t matter,” he said. “If they wanted to bring us back tomorrow that was fine with me. I would have run whenever.”

The mid-race pace was steady, well below Jager’s usual tempo, but then the Bowerman Track Club athlete cranked through the gears, dropping a 62-second penultimate lap before his 59.68-second closer to take a magnificent seventh straight title. He will now turn his attention to a sub-8-minute clocking in Monaco nexth month.

“If it’s super fast I’m excited to test myself and see how fast I can run, see how long I can hold on. If it’s 7:55, it’s 7:55. If it’s 8 flat, it’s 8 flat. I might as well push it,” he told Letsrun.com. More from Jager below:


While Jager is a seasoned veteran in this sphere, recent Kimbia recruit Karissa Schweizer was very much a novice. However, the NCAA 5000m champion showed she has a promising professional career ahead of her when finishing a terrific third in the women’s 5000m final in 15:34.31, having led for much of the latter half of the race.

The race was won by Shelby Houlihan in 15:31.03, with Rachel Schneider second in 15:32.71.

Afterwards Schweizer revealed to Letsrun.com that she will make her decision in the coming days about which brand she will sign with. “I wanted to represent a brand in this race but it’s just a big decision and I really have to think it over before I decide and I really have to make the best decision for myself and there is no point to rush it,” she said.

More reaction from Schweizer below:

 

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