June 9, 2016
EUGENE, Ore. — Arizona’s Bailey Roth broke the 35-year-old American high school steeplechase record two years ago (8:47.04), but his first outdoor collegiate season in college (he redshirted last year and won the Pan Am junior gold) has been a rollercoaster. It ended on a bittersweet note last night however as he came in with a 8:45.96 pb and left with a 8:37.38 PB, but he was the first guy not to make the final after finishing 6th in his heat. He was in contention the final lap but hit a barrier on the backstretch and could not recover enough.
The PB showed things are definitely heading in the right direction for him.
He opened his steepling this year with an 8:59 in March, then improved to 8:56 the first week of April, then things started going backwards. His next race was 9:09, and then a 9:14. This was all from a guy who ran 8:47 in high school. Bailey described what was happening, “I was on some medication that made me lose 10-11 pounds in less than two weeks, so it was a quick loss of strength, energy, and momentum,” he said.
He stopped taking the medication and started improving. He was 9th at the Pac-12 meet (8:58) and set a PR at the regional meet (8:45) to make NCAAs.
He improved another seven seconds yesterday and now hopes to make the Olympic Trials (8:32 is the automatic qualifying mark). Running in the Trials is his “dream,” but regardless of whether he makes the Trials, he said, “I’m blessed, thankfully to God to be here” after what he endured this year.
As for Wednesday, he said, “I feel like I’m normal again, but it’s a bummer to not make the final.”