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Colorado's Coburn, Constien qualify for Tokyo Olympics

Colorado runners Emma Coburn and Val Constien punched their tickets to Tokyo in the steeplechase.

EUGENE, Ore. — The 'Steeplechase Queen' is heading back to the Olympics.

Colorado's Emma Coburn won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Olympics Trials at Hayward Field on Thursday night with a time of 9:09.41. It punches her ticket to her third Olympic Games, qualifying for Tokyo next month.

"All of us competing here had a challenging last year and a half. My family had some more challenges with my mom's diagnosis of Stage 4 cancer," Coburn said in a post-race interview. "To share this with her, and have her be well -- it's more special than winning today and going to Tokyo. Sharing this with my mom is everything."

Fellow CU Buff Val Constien will be joining her in representing Team USA after finishing third in 9:18.34. The former Pac-12 champion is now an Olympian.

"It's unbelievable," she said. "A couple weeks ago, I woke up and said 'Huh, I might be able to do it.' So it's really cool to see it happen."

>>Video above: Colorado native Emma Coburn has right mindset on Olympic postponement

Credit: AP
Emma Coburn celebrates after winning the women's 3000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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