EUGENE, Ore. —The University of Colorado is making its mark on the 3,000-meter steeplechase as senior-to-be Emma Coburn won the women’s USA title on Sunday afternoon, just one day after assistant coach Billy Nelson won the men’s title at the 2011 USATF Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.
Coburn, the 2011 Big 12 and NCAA Champion, won her first U.S. title in 9 minutes, 44.11 seconds. Coburn ran in the front of the pack with Bridget Franek (OTC Elite), the 2010 NCAA Champion. It was a close finish but Coburn was able to hold Franek off, finishing .79 second ahead of her (9:44.90).
“Bridget Franek helped me keep my pace the entire race,” Coburn said. “This is the time of the year where most racers are at their peak, so I knew the level of competition would be high.”
Coburn will now have to opportunity to compete on the world stage as a member of Team U.S.A. at the IAAF World Championships, August 27-September 4, in Daegu, Korea. She will join Nelson who won the men’s championship in 8:28.46 on Saturday afternoon.
The Crested Butte, Colo. native becomes the second Buff under CU coach Mark Wetmore to win the USA title while in college. Former Buff Jenny (Barringer) Simpson won the title in 2007 and 2009.
Junior-to-be Shalaya Kipp was ninth overall in the steeplechase. She crossed the finish in 10:01.85 to end a great sophomore season. Kipp was third at the NCAA Championships earlier this month.
Current CU volunteer coach and former Buff standout Jeremy Dodson had an amazing day on the track, earning his first spot on an international roster. Dodson placed third in the finals of the 200-meter dash, clocking a wind-aided mark of 20.07. Walter Dix won the race in 19.95, Dodson made the finals after finishing third in the semis earlier in the afternoon. There he placed third with a time of 20.33.
Volunteer coach Emily Pearson finished her competition in the heptathlon on Sunday, placing seventh overall with 5,787 points.
USA Track & Field Championships
Hayward Field (Eugene, Ore.)
Men’s 200-meters – semifinals: (1. Darvis Paxson, NIKE, 20.25) 3. Jeremy Dodson, unattached, 20.33Q
Men’s 200-meters – finals: (1. Walter Dix, Nike, 19.95) 3. Jeremy Dodson, unattached, 20.07
Women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase – finals: 1. Emma Coburn, 9:44.11; 9. Shalaya Kipp, 10:01.85
Courtesy of CUBuffs.com