EUGENE, Ore. — Heading into Thursday night’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials, former Colorado all-star Emma Coburn was the heavy favorite.
She didn’t disappoint.
The American record holder cruised to her second straight U.S. Olympic Trials Championship, her fifth overall U.S. Championship, to earn her second trip to the Olympic Games. Coburn’s time of 9:17.48 was 3.44 seconds faster than the runner-up, Courtney Frerichs (9:20.92), which is the largest margin of victory in trials history. Colleen Quigley was third in 9:21.29. Frerichs and Quigley will join Coburn on the U.S. team in Rio.
Coburn, who also made the Olympic team in 2012, ran a different style of race than what she has in the past. She didn’t take the lead at the beginning, but stayed behind Ashley Higginson until there were two and a half laps remaining. Once Coburn moved to the lead, she was off and everyone knew it was a race for second and third.
Another former Buff, Shalaya Kipp, just missed her second trip to an Olympic Games in the steeplechase, finishing fourth overall.
The 2012 Olympian from Crested Butte, CO ran a very smart race, staying in the middle of the very close pack. Entering the bell lap, she was back around seventh, but was able to work herself into fourth place at the finish, crossing with a personal best of 9:28.72.
Photos of Emma Coburn at the U.S. Olympic Track Trials
Photos by Dave Albo | Lane1photos.com