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Pease cracks top 10 at Trials

Pease cracks top 10 at Trials
Pease cracks top 10 at Trials
Sarah Pease competes in the womenÂ’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the USA Olympic Track and Field Trials Friday in Eugene, Ore. Photo by Charlie Riedel/Associated Press (click for larger version)

While Sarah Pease didn’t have the breakout race she was seeking, the former South Central Junior-Senior High School standout put in an impressive 10th-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the USA Olympic Trials.
The Friday race saw the Indiana University graduate run the second fastest time in her career, 9:53.62, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Her fastest time (9:52.43) came in the prelims earlier in the week to earn a spot in the final.
‘Friday was a good day, but I still wanted to go faster,’ Pease said. ‘It’s still a positive experience. I raced about as well as I could.’
The strategy during the race was to hold back through the first kilometer, then finish with a flurry toward the end. Pease said she was holding back early but still going pretty fast.
‘It was kind of good that I went with that strategy because I caught four people,’ Pease said. ‘I had to hold back in the beginning to race well at the end, and that’s what I did. It’s a little frustrating because you want to go as hard as that first group.’
Colorado University’s Emma Coburn won the event in 9:32.78 to secure a spot to represent the U.S.A. in the Olympics. Also making the U.S.A. team were second-place finisher Bridget Franek (Nike/Oregon TC Elite) and third-place finisher Shalaya Kipp (Colorado University).
The 2012 Olympic Games will take place in London July 27 through Aug. 12.
Pease closed hard for the 10th spot out of 14 competitors. A year ago, she was disappointed at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Nationals when she didn’t reach the final after a 13th-place finish in her heat.
‘The top 10 at the Trials shows I’ve taken a step forward, especially after not making the final at USA Championships this time last year,’ Pease said. ‘This was a good step, but I always want a little more.’
Working with her coach, Tom Chorny, Pease was challenged with mentally and physically tough workouts leading up to the Trials. One in particular helped gain strength and consistency.
Chorny, the 2001 U.S. Champion in the Steeplechase, had her run one-kilometer and 600-meter repeats with a minute break between. With a target time to hit each time, workouts like the distance repeats helped build Pease and develop consistency.
For the future, Pease will have her sights set on the 2016 Trials. In a week, she looks forward to going to the beach and ocean, joining her family on vacation. Her dedication won’t stop, as Pease has already located a track near the destination to get in her workouts.
To close out the outdoor season, Pease could compete in one-mile road races or continue to train for late-season meets. She’s in discussions with Chorny about the plans, but could also take some time off. Regardless, she’ll continue to put in plenty of miles.
‘I’m sure my training will change next year,’ Pease said. ‘I’m ready to work hard to get here again.’