Kipp, Van Halen advance to NCAA Steeplechase Finals
DES MOINES, Iowa – University of Colorado juniors Shalaya Kipp and Aric Van Halen advance to the finals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase
Kipp won her semifinal in 9 minutes, 59.18 seconds on Wednesday June 6. She led for the majority of the race, running with a pack of five other runners, until the final 300 meters when she dropped back to fourth. When the lead group went over the final water jump, Kipp was able to regain the lead and hang on for the win. Oregon’s Melanie Thompson almost closed the gap between her and Kipp in the final seconds as she was just .72 seconds away from Kipp, finishing in 9:59.90.
Van Halen who ran on Thursday June 7, ran a time of 8 minutes, 42.55 seconds, also a lifetime best, placed him 13th overall, just making the finals as only 14 qualified. He started the race in the back of the pack, but was able to move up pretty smoothly to run with the lead pack. With about 800 meters remaining in the race, he took the lead, but shortly after dropped back as the field entered the bell lap. Van Halen dug deep and was able to earn a spot in the final round despite not getting one of the top five automatic qualifying positions in the section.
The women’s steeplechase finals are scheduled for Friday at 5:30 p.m. (MST). The men’s scheduled for Saturday at 10:52 a.m. (MST).