How does a track fan girl and a dog lover celebrate the 4th of July? By watching the 3000 meter steeple prelims, the 800 meter final and then hiding the greyhounds from fireworks…of course!

As mentioned above the 3000m steeple gets underway tomorrow. Each time I watch this event I am amazed by how graceful the women look as they glide over the barriers… despite having no personal space. Sometimes just getting down to the ground to tie my shoe is a chore let alone leaping over steeple barriers running sub-5 minute miles. But what I love the most about watching the women is how they approach each barrier with confidence. They run lap after lap as if the barriers are not even there… without missing a beat.

I can’t wait to watch the 36 women compete in this event tomorrow with the goal making to finals later in the week to secure one of three coveted spots on the U.S. Olympic Team. But I am mostly excited to cheer of Freeplay writer Stephanie Garcia.

Going into the trials Stephanie is ranked 3rd with a time of 9:23.48 behind Leah O’Connor and American Record holder Emma Coburn. Stephanie has had a stellar season racing mostly the 1500m and the 5000m which she PR’d in Palo Alto May 1 this year with a time of 15:16.56. She also ran her second fastest 1500m just a month ago at the Furman ELite 1500. Although she was not pleased with her steeple opener mid-June there is no doubt in my mind that she is ready to roll tomorrow and I can’t wait.

Wishing her the best of luck as well as hometown middle distance runner Kate Grace who is racing in the 800 meter final tomorrow evening.

Good luck ladies!


Twitter: @stephanie_artis
Instagram: @stephanieartis

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