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Third place for Jager at Pre Classic

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Evan Jager made an impressive 2018 steeplechase debut when finishing third at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on Saturday, the Bowerman Track Club athlete in a photo finish with Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto, both athletes credited with the same time of 8:11.71.

The race was won by Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen in 8:09.07.

“I felt pretty good," said Jager. I felt like I was in a great rhythm. I was focusing on staying relaxed and Jerry [Schumacher] gave me the green light to do what I wanted. I didn’t want to make a move today and instead see what I could do over the last 200. I probably could have been a little more aggressive.”

Jager will now turn his attention to the US Championships before focusing on a tilt at the eight-minute barrier in Monaco in July.

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Jager opens season with a win

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Evan Jager opened his season with a win at the Bryan Clay Invitational last week in California.

Jager took a narrow win over Isaac Kimeli of Belgium in the men’s 5000m, holding on down the home stretch to break the tape in 13:24.77, just in front of Kimeli in 13:24.92. Suguru Osako of the Nike Oregon Project was third in 13:29.11. This was Jager’s third race of the year, having finished fifth at the USATF Cross Country Championships and clocked a 3:58 mile indoors.

Earlier this week, Jager announced his first steeplechase outing of the season will come at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, which takes place on May 26 in Hayward Field. The Olympic silver medalist will take on his conqueror in Rio, Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto, who will go to Eugene fresh from victory at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast this month. Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, 22, the silver medalist at last year’s World Outdoor Championships, is also in the field.

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Jager fourth at USATF Cross Country

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Evan Jager had an impressive start on his return to racing after a 6-month absence, the Olympic silver medalist running his first cross country race in more than a decade in Tallahassee, Florida. 

Jager finished fourth in the men's 10,000m race at the USATF Cross Country Championships, his time of 29:31.5 just behind bronze medalist Stanley Kebenei (29:31.4). The race was won by Leonard Korir in 29:16.6 ahead of Galen Rupp, 29:17.8. 

Among those impressed by Jager's performance was Letsrun.com, who wrote: "Jager ran a very nice race to take fourth, especially since this race was well out of his comfort zone — only his second race ever above 5k, and his first cross country race since his senior year of high school over 11 years ago. He couldn’t hang with the true 10k guys Korir and Rupp, but he was in the lead group throughout and closed well for fourth place.

“I was pretty much as surprised as everyone else hearing the news that I was gonna be racing here,” Jager said in a piece he filmed with USATF before the meet. “I was totally taken aback. Took me a couple days to wrap my head around the possibility of actually running cross country again.”

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Jager ready for cross country return

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Evan Jager (pictured above competing at the 2006 FootLocker Midwest XC) will open his 2018 campaign by competing at the USATF Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee, Florida this weekend. 

Jager will compete in the men's 10,000m race, which will be the 28-year-old's first competition since the Brussels Diamond League last September. Jager had another strong showing throughout 2017, the Bowerman Track Club athlete netting a bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in London and scoring his first win on the Diamond League circuit when winning the 3000m steeplechase in Monaco in a blazing 8:01.29. 

 

 

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Jager donates Olympic uniform to Jacobs High School

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Evan Jager paid a visit to his old high school in Algonquin, Illinois last Friday and left the students with a gift that will prove as memorable as it will inspirational: his uniform from the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

Jager, who took the silver medal in the men's 3000m steeplechase in Rio, was given a hero's welcome when he was introduced to the students of his alma mater, who got to meet and greet the 28-year-old. 

"I want to show the kids...that really unimaginable things are possible," he said. 

For more on his visit, check out this story in the Chicago Tribune and this feature by the Northwest Herald. 

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Jager takes third in Brussels finale

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Evan Jager closed his season with a third-place finish in the 3000m steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels on Friday night, the 28-year-old recovering from a late-race fall to reach the finish in 8:11.71.

On a cool, damp night in the Belgian capital, the early pace was strong, with pacemaker Haron Lagat towing the field through 1000m in 2:40.27. Soon after, as the pace began to slow, Jager moved to the front in search of his first sub-eight-minute clocking, and he led the field through 2000m in 5:24.45. Dogging his heels all along, though, was Olympic and world champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya, and Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, who had both beaten Jager into third at the World Championships in London last month.

Approaching the bell, El Bakkali surged past Jager, then Kipruto moved around, leaving the Nike Bowerman Track Club athlete to fight it out for third. Kipruto closed in late to pass El Bakkali right by the line to win in 8:04.73, El Bakkali second in 8:04.83. Jager’s race very nearly ended at the final water jump, the American losing his footing on landing and crashing to the track, but he quickly picked himself up and summoned all his spirit and strength to outkick compatriot Stanley Kebenei to take third in 8:11.71.

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