Emma Coburn Dominates Steeple Final - Day 6 Performance of the Night
The Crested Butte, Colo. native led wire-to-wire to leave the competition in the dust and win in 9:32.78, earning her second straight U.S. title and first Olympic team berth.
"This is why we get up every day and run. It's why we sweat and cry and work our asses off in practice," an emotional Coburn said after her race. "This is our dream and to have it come true is special."
Friday's race followed a personal best of 9:25.28 that Coburn set at the Prefontaine Classic. The mark puts Coburn fourth on the all-time American rankings.
Despite coming in as the pre-race favorite, Coburn was still wary of the hazards of the steeplechase.
"Nothing's guaranteed. There are 35 opportunities to hit something and trip," Coburn said referring to the 35 barriers that make up the 3000 meter race.
Coburn is joined on the Olympic team by Colorado teammate Shalaya Kipp, this year's NCAA champion. The two represent the continuation of Colorado's steeple tradition. Dating back to Jenny Barringer's dominance, Buffalos have won five of the last seven NCAA women's steeplechase titles.
As for her goals for London, Coburn is looking for something better than last summer's performance at the Daegu World Championships where she was 12th.
"By the time I made it to the final I was toast," Coburn said. "I'd like to be in the mix of things and have more of an impact on the race.
For her victory in the most unpredictable of events, Flotrack awards Emma Coburn the performance of the night for day six.