What a year it’s been for Nixa, Missouri’s Courtney Frerichs. After graduating from UMKC, she just completed her first year of graduate studies at New Mexico. She led the Lady Lobos to the NCAA DI cross country title in the fall, and then won the 3,000 meter steeplechase and setting the collegiate record with a time of 9:24 at the NCAA Championships back in June.
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On Thursday night, Frerichs was back in Eugene, Oregon competing for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Emma Coburn won the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:17.48.
Frerichs was a distant fourth heading into the final lap well behind Coburn, Stephanie Garcia and Colleen Quigley. On the back stretch, Frerich kicked it in gear closing the gap. Garcia fell over the final barrier making it a three-person race down the stretch as Frerich’s pulled ahead of Quigley at the end, a teammate of hers from the Bowerman Track Club, for second place. All three are headed to Rio.
An excited and exhausted Frerich was interviewed by NBCSN after the race.
“This year couldn’t have gone more perfect,” said Frerichs. “To be with these two girls (Coburn and Quiqley), I’m just so happy.”