Track and Field | Saturday, May 25, 2013
Freeby Earns Fourth Place in Steeplechase at NCAA Championships in 10:33.34
Sophomore Runner for Willamette Achieves All-America Status
LA CROSSE, WIS. -- Michaela Freeby (So., Milwaukie, OR/Rex Putnam HS) from Willamette University took fourth place in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2013 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, May 25 at Roger Harring Stadium.
Freeby achieved a personal record time of 10:33.34, while earning All-America status. Alyssa Smith from SUNY Geneseo (N.Y.) won the steeplechase in 10:17.38. Sammi Bruett from Wartburg College (Iowa) was second in 10:26.60, edging out defending champion Keri Lambert from Amherst College (Mass.), who finished third with a time of 10:27.14.
While taking fourth place Freeby broke her previous personal best of 10:37.36, set in the preliminary heats on Thursday. Ashlyn Maur from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire was fifth in the finals at 10:34.84. The top seven finishers completed the race in less than 10:40.
Freeby was a contender throughout the race. She was among the leaders early and stayed within striking distance over the first several laps. I bit later, she was among the top three runners. Eventually she moved into second place, and was even with Smith entering the final lap.
Smith pulled away down the back stretch, while Freeby held a good lead in second. As Smith rounded the final curve, Freeby slipped going over the next to last barrier and fell into the water hazard. It took her a few seconds to recover, which allowed Bruett and Lambert to move past. Even so, Freeby reduced her personal record by 4.02 seconds while easily securing All-America honors.
The top eight finishers in each event earn All-America status.
It was Freeby's second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase. She earned a time of 10:57.24 in the prelims of the 2012 NCAA Championships to set a personal record at the time, and then placed 13th in the finals at 11:05.65.
In addition to Freeby, three other runners among this year's top five finishers competed in the finals last year. Lambert won the 2012 steeplechase title, while Bruett placed fourth and Maur was 12th.
A total of four Bearcats competed at this year's NCAA Championships.
Joining Freeby were Kit Kingstad (Jr., Beaverton, OR/Beaverton HS), Carson Kennedy (So., Forest Grove, OR/Forest Grove HS) and Taylor Ostrander. Kingstad was 17th in the men's 1,500-meter run in 3:55.89. Kennedy finished 18th in the decathlon with 5,488 points and Ostrander placed 22nd in the women's steeplechase in 11:22.31.