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Coburn Runs Fastest NCAA 1500 This Season

May 20, 2013

LOS ANGELES - Recent University of Colorado graduate Emma Coburn may not have had the 2013 1,500-meter run debut she wanted at the 104th Drake Relays in April, running 4:11.36, but she more than made up for it after clocking 4:06.87 at the Oxy High Performance Meet on Friday to become the fifth fastest collegiate runner ever.

The time is also the fastest by an NCAA athlete this season and is the fastest run since 2009 when Jenny (Barringer) Simpson set the NCAA record at 3:59.90. Coburn's time ranks second in CU history.

The Crested Butte, Colo. native finished eighth overall in a field that consisted of professional athletes, and once again she was the only collegiate runner in the race. Coburn has competed in four races this outdoor season and has not finished behind another collegiate runner. Katie Mackey (Brooks) won a very close finish in 4:04.60.

CU had several other athletes, current and former, competing at the meet. Shalaya Kipp, who is redshirting the 2013 season, raced in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and placed fifth overall in 10:02.80.

Current CU coaches Simpson and Billy Nelson also had great performances at the meet. Simpson, a volunteer coach, won the 800 with a personal best of 2:00.45. Simpson, the reigning 1,500-meter IAAF World Champion, isn't known as an 800 runner and for the first 300 meters of the race, she was in the back of the pack.

But that didn't stop her as Simpson worked her way up the field and with 200 left she turned it up. The race came to an exciting conclusion with the runners going four-wide down the home stretch. Simpson really picked up the pace with 50 meters left and edged out Phoebe Wright (Nike) who finished second in 2:00.58.

Nelson raced in his second steeplechase of the season and had a great race, crossing the finish second in 8:29.10. He was near the front of the pack to start the race and that is where he would stay, running most of the race between third and fifth. As the group entered the bell lap, Nelson was third. He moved into second with just over 200 remaining and was able to close well to hang on for the runner-up finish.  

Other notable performances for the Buffs came from former athletes Dathan Ritzenhein and Sara Vaughn. Ritzenhein, a three-time Olympian, placed second in the 5k, clocking in at 13:17.38. Vaughn finished second in the steeplechase in 9:47.58.

2013 OXY High Performance Meet

Bill Henry Track, Occidental College

(Los Angeles, Calif.)


Track Events

Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase:2. Sara Vaughn, 9:47.58; 5. Shalaya Kipp, 10:02.80

Men's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase: 2. Billy Nelson, 8:29.10

Women's 800-Meters: 1. Jenny Simpson, 2:00.45

Women's 1,500-Meters: 8. Emma Coburn, 4:06.87

Women's 5,000-Meters: 11. Jessica Tebo, 16:27.30

Men's 5,000-Meters: 2. Dathan Ritzenhein, 13:17.38; 15. Aldo Vega, 13:45.68; 18. Andy Wacker, 13:54.29