Local woman heading to steeplechase finals | PostIndependent.com

Local woman heading to steeplechase finals

EUGENE, Ore. ” Today is the day Carbondale’s Carrie Messner-Vickers has had in the back of her mind the past four years.

If she can land a top-three finish in tonight’s women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore., she’ll be headed to China in August for the Summer Olympics.

It won’t be easy. Messner-Vickers, a 2000 University of Colorado graduate, is carrying the eighth seed into tonight’s final after clocking in at 9 minutes, 53.78 seconds, in Monday’s semifinals at Hayward Field.

Jennifer Barringer notched the top time on Monday, completing the obstacle-laden race in 9:48.50.

Expect times to go down across the board tonight, as most of the field’s favorites on Monday were saving themselves for tonight.

Had women’s steeplechase been an Olympic sport back in 2004, Messner-Vickers would have represented Team USA at the Summer Games in Athens after finishing third in what amounted to an exhibition event at the U.S. Olympic trials that year.

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