Jackson Runs Year's Fastest Steeplechase
CLAREMONT -- In a race in which seven BYU runners recorded NCAA qualifying marks, senior All-American Elizabeth Jackson ran the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:59.50 to win the event at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational. The Cougars competed in both the Pomona meet and the Mt. SAC Relays, in nearby Walnut, Calif. over the weekend.
Jackson, the current American record holder in the steeplechase, turned in the fastest time in the world this year with the win at Pomona. She became the only American to break 10 minutes in the event when she set the national record at the 2000 US Olympic trials, running a 9:57.20 to win the event in that meet.
The Cougar women went 1-2-3 in the steeplechase at the Pitzer Invitational, with sophomore Nan Evans finishing second in 10:16.92 and senior Tara Haynes taking third in 10:21.00. Haynes just missed the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 10:20.00, but BYU had four more finishers come in under the provisional mark of 11:10.00. Katie Martin (10:29.79), Sherida Rogers (10:31.69) and Katie Moon (10:42.53) took the fifth through seventh spots, and senior Kristen Edwards ran 11:00.21 to finish ninth.
In addition to the strong showing in the steeplechase, the BYU runners recorded several qualifying marks at the Mt. SAC Relays. Sophomore Lindsey Thomsen just missed the automatic standard of 16:13.00, running 16:13.16 in her heat of the 5,000 meters. Senior Sharolyn Shields-Thayer ran a provisional time of 4:21.74 in the 1500 m, and sophomore Sarah Ellett turned in a provisional time of 35:12.79 in the 10,000m.
Next week, the Cougars will travel to Des Moines Iowa to compete in the Drake Invitational.