Former CU Buffs and current training partners Jenny Simpson and Emma Coburn won their respective races this weekend in Eugene’s famous Hayward Field to earn their place on the USA team to compete in the IAFF World Championships held in Beijing, China in August. This is Simpson’s second consecutive USATF 1,500m title and Coburn’s fourth consecutive USATF 3,000m Steeplechase title.
Simpson already had an automatic berth into the 2015 IAAF World Championships as the 2014 Diamond League Champion this August in Beijing, but she wanted to go through the rounds at USAs to defend her title, which she successfully did in 4:14.86.
“I felt like I didn’t have any pressure to make something happen so I was able to just sit and respond,” Simpson said. “I don’t think under any other circumstances I would necessarily trust to leave it to that so this was special where I could sort of roll the dice and see if I can handle it.”
In total, this is the eighth USATF title for Simpson which includes two steeplechase crowns (’07 and ’09) that she won while competing for the Buffs. To make this even more special, it’s the first time she has won back-to-back titles in the same event. Simpson was the 2013 USA 5k Champion and did not race the 1,500 that season at USAs.
Emma Coburn won her fourth USA Steeplechase title in very hot conditions on Saturday afternoon.
The former Buff and current volunteer assistant coach cruised to a meet record time of 9:15.59 in just her second steeplechase race of the season (the first was two days ago in the prelims) and easily defeated Stephanie Garcia, who clocked in at 9:23.48. Coburn’s time is the second fastest of her career; she ran 9:11.42 in 2014.
Another former Buff, Kara Goucher, placed 18th overall in the 5,000-meter run earlier in the day. She finished the race, one of her first since having surgery just a few months ago, in 16:06.35.