After setting a new U.S. record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Algonquin native and Jacobs High School grad Evan Jager was named Athlete of the Week by USA Track and Field on Wednesday.
Jager ran a record time of 8:06.81 in the event in Monaco on Friday, besting the previous U.S. mark, set by Daniel Lincoln, by two seconds. Jager dropped 11 seconds off his qualifying time from the U.S. trials. He finished third in the event.
"I thought it would be a possibility, but it wasn't something I was expecting," Jager said of the record. "I wasn't sure how I would be able to handle a hard pace. I heard lap splits being called out the first two laps, but after that I was oblivious to everything else." Jager was racing in an international steeplechase event for the first time, and has only competed in the event five times. His next stop will be London, where he will run for the U.S. in the Olympics.
"This gives me confidence to know I can put myself in position to run anywhere at the Olympics, whether it's a fast pace or a slow tactical race," Jager said. "It gives me a lot of tools to work with."
The heats for steeplechase will begin on Aug. 3, and the final will take place Aug. 5.