Messner makes it to steeplechase finals |

Messner makes it to steeplechase finals

Carrie Messner’s dream of earning a world championship medal brightened on Saturday.Running in the second heat of the 3,000-meter women’s steeplechase at the International Association of Athletics Federation World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, the Carbondale resident advanced to Monday’s event final by finishing third in her preliminary race.She also set a new personal best time in the event.Messner completed the race in 9 minutes, 39.68 seconds. The mark eclipses her previous best of 9:41.37, set during her third-place finish at the U.S. National meet in June.Overall, the time Messner posted was 10th best in the steepchase’s three preliminary heats. The top three in each heat and the next six fastest times out of the original field of 35 in the prelims advance to Monday’s finals.Messner will be one of two American runners in the finals.She will be joined at the start line by teammate Elizabeth Jackson, the four-time U.S. Women’s steeplechase champion. Jackson gained entry to the finals by posting a 14th best time of 9:45.24. Lisa Galaviz, the other American competing in the race, just missed qualifying for the finals. Galaviz posted a time of 9:47.45. The last qualifier came in at 9:47.19.The leading competitors facing the two Americans include Uganda’s Docus Inzikuru, whose 9:27.85 time was the fastest time in Saturday’s prelims; Kenyan Jeruto Kiptum, who set a new national record with a time of 9:29.21; and Yekaterina Volkova, of Russia, who ran a personal best of 9:29.88.

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