2013 USA Women’s Steeplechase Prelims: Franek and Bush Look Good, Kipp Does Not

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by LetsRun.com
June 20, 2013

Des Moines, IA – There weren’t any monumental surprises as the final was set for the women’s steeplechase at the 2013 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The biggest news was that Sara Hall, who contending for an Olympic spot last year, failed to make the final as did 4:08 1,500 meter runner Sara Vaughn, who had done well in her two career steeples prior to this.

2012 US Olympian Shalaya Kipp barely made the final as the 13th of 14 qualifiers, not a huge stunner as Kipp hasn’t been running well so far this year.

Heat 1

The 4 auto qualifiers

The 4 auto qualifiers

NCAA third placer Amber Henry of Weber State had a near 4-second lead halfway through heat number one. With three laps remaining, the chase pack had disintegrated and a leading trio of Bridget Franek, Alexi Pappas and Ashley Higginson emerged and it looked like those four would take the automatic qualifying spots.

The chasing trio caught Henry with 600 to go but she stayed with them and the top four here were way better than everyone else.

Results and quick takes below.

Quick Thought (QT) #1: We said coming in that Franek was the favorite and that Ashley Higginson had a real good shot at going to Moscow as well. Nothing that happened in this heat made us change our minds.

QT #2: Sara Hall led briefly really early but ended up way back in 11th.

QT #3: 4:08 1500 runner Sara Vaughn, who was running just her third career steeple here and was our dark-horse candidate for the Moscow team went down hard on a barrier and ended up as a DNF. That’s certainly disappointing for her but we think she’s found her event for the years to come.

(interviews at bottom of article)

PlaceHt PlAthleteTime     
31Bridget Franek
Nike / Oregon TC Elite
9:57.96Q
42Amber Henry
Weber State University
9:58.20Q
53Alexi Pappas
Unattached
9:58.89Q
64Ashley Higginson
Saucony
9:58.99Q
115Alicia Nelson
Adams State College
10:03.20q
126Kimber Mattox
Bowerman Athletic Club
10:06.33q
157Grace Heymsfield
University of Arkansas
10:15.29
168Sarah Pease
adidas/teamrogue
10:20.37
189Collier Lawrence
Oiselle
10:23.98
2110Katie Fry
Cal Davis
10:27.34
2211Sara Hall
Asics
10:28.60
2312Mary Ballinger
ZAP Fitness Reebok
10:30.71
2613Ann Detmer
Unattached
10:35.02
DNFDNFSara Vaughn
Unattached

Heat 2

Nicole Bush comfortably ahead at the bell

Nicole Bush comfortably ahead at the bell

Former NCAA runner-up Nicole Bush was the class of heat two where once again there were four women under 10:00 and four women clearly better than everyone else. 2013 US leader Jamie Cheever, who hadn’t raced a steeple since April due to injury, also qualified automatically as did 2011 World team member Stephanie Garcia.

QT #1: The big news here was how poor 2012 US Olympian Shalaya Kipp looked. She was the 13th of 14th qualifiers for the final. The 14th qualifier was non other than Julia Webb. Who ever would have thought that Alan Webb’s wife would one day be in a US final – less than a year after giving birth and Alan would be merely a spectator. After the race Julia said Alan is racing next week and she talks about being here and Alan here as a spectator and how she thinks that could help him long term.

QT #2: In our preview of the women’s steeplechase, we said we really thought Franek and Bush would make it to Moscow and we still feel that way. The question remains, ‘Who gets third?’

QT #3: It was great to see Cheever, who has gone from 9:51 to 9:29 this year, make the final after not racing the steeple since April due to injury. Afterwards, she said it was different being on the favorites coming into a meet.

(Interview below)

PlaceHt PlAthleteTime     
11Nicole Bush
New Balance/Furman Elite
9:54.41Q
22Nicol Traynor
Unattached
9:55.91Q
73Jamie Cheever
Brooks / Team USA Minnesota
9:59.35Q
84Stephanie Garcia
New Balance
9:59.80Q
95Carrie Dimoff
Bowerman Athletic Club
10:02.44q
106Aisha Praught
Nike
10:02.67q
137Shalaya Kipp
University of Colorado
10:07.75q
148Julia Webb
Bowerman Athletic Club
10:11.42q
179Rachel Sorna
Cornell University
10:22.10
1910Alexa Aragon
Notre Dame
10:25.43
2011Joanna Murphy
New Balance
10:25.96
2412Mary Goldkamp
adidas/teamrogue
10:31.09
2513Leslie Boozer
Unattached
10:31.68

Julia Webb on Being at USAs While Alan Watches:

Jamie Cheever Healthy and a Favorite:

Bridget Franek the Favorite:

Ashley Higginson Motivated by 4th Last Year:

Alexi Pappas After Making Final:

Amber Henry After Making Final:

 


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