Anna Willard '06 Qualifies for Olympic Finals in 3000 M Steeplechase

Aug. 16, 2008

Former Brown track & field standout Anna Willard '06, who is competing in the Olympics for the first time in her career, moved onto the finals in the 3000 M Steeplechase with a time of 9:28.52.

Willard, one of two Americans to qualify for the finals, qualified based on time, and was one of two in her heat to move on after the top four. The top four runners in each of the three heats moved onto the finals in addition to three more based on time, which is how Willard qualified.

Willard will now run in to the finals, which will be held Sunday.

A two-time All-American at Brown in the Distance Medley Relay and in the 3000 M Steeplechase which she placed sixth in the country as a senior. She was also the Ivy League Champion inthe event and still holds the Ivy League record.

After graduating, she competing for one season with the University of Michigan as a graduate student where her career continued to take off. While at Michigan, she set personal bests and won the NCAA Championships in the 3,000 M Steeplechase.

At the United States Olympic trials, Willard won the event with an American record-breaking time of 9:27.59.

At the United State Olympic trials Anna won the 3kSC in an American record breaking time of 9:27.59. The record was then broken several weeks later in Europe by Jenny Barringer, who ran a 9:2273 and narrowly beat Willard's time of 9:22.76. Barringer is the second American to qualify for the Olympic Finals after posting a 9:29.20, the third-fastest time in the second heat.

Heat 1 Qualifiers
Gulnara Samitova-Galkina (Russia), 9:15.17 Ruth Bisibori Nyangua (Kenya), 9:19.75
Wioletta Frankiewicz (Poland), 9:21.88
Christina Casandra (Romania), 9:22.38
Habiba Ghribi (Tunisia), 9:25.50*

Heat 2 Qualifiers
Tatyana Petrova (Russia), 9:28.25
Roisin McGettigan (Ireland), 9:28.92
Jennifer Barringer (USA), 9:29.20
Zulema Fuentes-Pila (Spain), 9:29.40

Heat 3 Qualifiers
Eunice Jepkorir (Kenya), 9:21.31
Marta Dominguez (Spain), 9:22.11
Yekaterina Volkova (Russia), 9:23.06
Zemzem Ahmed (Ethiopia), 9:25.63
Elena Romagnolo (Italy), 9:27.48*
Anna Willard (USA), 9:28.52*

* qualified based on time