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Distance runners lead the way at day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships

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Distance runners lead the way at day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships

Senior Katie Rainsberger competes in the Women's 3000 meter run during the Husky Classic on Feb. 14, 2020. Rainsberger ran a time of 9 minutes and 36.71 seconds in the women's steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and is seeded fourth heading into the finals on Saturday, June 12.

The first two years of senior Katie Rainsberger’s college career was spent running for Oregon.

Now once again running in Eugene, Oregon, Rainsberger was looking to leave her mark in the city where it all began, only this time she was running at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and was sporting Washington across her chest.

Running in the 3,000 meter steeplechase semifinal, Rainsberger definitely left her mark. With the top five runners in each heat qualifying for the finals, Rainsberger left little doubt that she wouldn’t be running the steeplechase again Saturday.

Rainsberger ran a time of 9 minutes and 36.71 seconds and finished second in her heat, automatically qualifying for the finals on Saturday, June 12th, at 3:24 p.m. Overall, the senior finished with the fourth fastest time on the day.

Rainsberger’s time was also a new PR and with her already holding the 3,000 meter steeplechase record at Washington, the Colorado Springs, Colorado native has simply been in a league all by herself when it comes to Washington steeplechase athletes.

Another Washington distance runner who was looking to have herself a day was Haley Herberg running in the 10,000 meter final.

Throughout the majority of the race, Herberg was within striking distance of the leader hanging out in fifth place and then at times she would make a move up to third place and then fall back to fifth or sixth.

With about seven laps to go, however, the runners began to separate, with two runners clearly creating a gap between them and the field making it no longer a race for first, but a race for third for Herberg.

In the end, the senior was unable to have that final burst and finished in fifth with a time of 32 minutes and 35.59 seconds. Herberg was only 1.54 seconds behind the third place finisher.

Herberg’s time was a PR and also earned the Washington women’s team their first four points at the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Washington will be sending out more athletes tomorrow, with the first athlete competing being Ida Eikeng and Lyndsey Lopes, as the heptathlon gets underway at 12 p.m. with the 100 meter hurdles.

Other notes

  • Junior Madison Heisterman finished in seventh in her heat and 19th overall at the 1,500 meter with a time of 4 minutes and 15.58 seconds.

  • Senior Darhian Mills finished at the bottom of the 400 meter hurdles, running a time of 1 minute and 2.30 seconds. 

Reach reporter Nathan Mathisen Twitter: @NathanMathisen

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