Aug. 15, 2013
● Results | Flotrack Interview
MADISON, Wis. -- Former Wisconsin standout Evan Jager snared a fifth-place finish in the 3000 steeplechase at the 2013 IAAF World Championships on Thursday in Moscow.
Jager, running for the United States, ran the fastest fifth-place time in world championships history clocking in at 8 minutes, 8.67 seconds. He now owns the three fastest all-time U.S. marks in the steeplechase after competing in the event for just two years.
After running in the middle of the pack for the first few laps of the race, Jager surged to the front group with three laps to go. He remained in that pack for the rest of the race. Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya, who Jager beat in the qualifying round, won the final in 8:06.01. Kenya's Conseslus Kipruto was close behind for second in 8:06.37, while Mahiedine Mehkissi-Benabbad of France claimed third in 8:07.86.
Jager was able to improve on his finish in the 2012 Olympic Games, where he finished sixth.
"I was there with 400 meters to go," Jager told reporters after the race. "The top five of us were within two or three steps of each other. It is the same scenario than it was last year (at the Olympics) but it was a much different race. There is just so many emotions going through you, especially when you have a chance to medal with a lap to go."
A two-time U.S. champion in the steeplechase, he burst on the scene last year, when he set the American record of 8:06.81 in just his fifth ever steeplechase competition. Thursday's race marked only the 12th time Jager has competed in the event.
"I'm in so much better fitness than I was last year" he said. "I think I showed that, being able to close in a faster-paced race. Same thing as last year, I gave myself that chance that I could medal, so it's a little disappointing. It is nice to improve from last year and get a little closer."