Coburn and Constien outrun a field of competitors to make the Olympic team.
Colorado is renowned as a training ground for Olympic athletes, and now we can add two more standouts to that list.
Colorado native Emma Coburn, who has earned herself the name the "Steeplechase Queen," and Val Constien, a CU Buff alumna, will be representing the U.S. in the steeplechase in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Coburn led the 3,000-meter steeplechase from wire to wire at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on June 24 in Eugene, Oregon for the win with a time of 9:09:41. This amazing athlete has dominated the steeplechase in U.S. competition for years, and this will be her third Olympic appearance.
This is Coburn's seventh consecutive U.S. title. She medaled in the 2017 and 2019 Worlds and won the bronze in the Rio Olympics, the U.S. first Olympic steeplechase medal since 1984. Coburn has faced a tough couple of years, not only defending her long-standing title, but her mother has also been battling stage 4 cancer since 2019 and is doing well under treatment.
“To share this with her and have her be well, it’s more special than winning today and going to Tokyo,” Coburn told Lewis Johnson on NBC, adding later, “She has surpassed all of her doctor’s expectations. She’s a little miracle.”
"Sharing this with my mom is everything."— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) June 25, 2021
Qualifying for the #TokyoOlympics means even more to @emmajcoburn because she is able to share it with her mom who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.@usatf | #TrackFieldTrials21 pic.twitter.com/83kpKApcd8
Constien, former Pac-12 champion, kicked it home in a time of 9:18:34, earning her third place and her first trip to the Olympics. This race was a personal best for Constien who shaved an impressive 7.19 seconds off her fastest time to that point.
Courtney Frerichs took second in the trials to join Coburn and Constien in Tokyo.
Congratulations to our Colorado athletes and the U.S. Women's Olympic Steeplechase Team! Can't wait to watch you in Tokyo! Sent a note of encouragement to our athletes in the comments.