June 13, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - Marisa Howard ran a career-best race Friday evening at Hayward Field and placed second in the 3,000m steeplechase, giving her the Mountain West all-time record with a time of 9:43.82. With the second-place finish, Howard earns a first-team All-America honor and records the best 3,000m steeplechase performance in Boise State women's outdoor track and field history.
Howard displaced the previous MW all-time 3,000m steeplechase record that had existed for ten years. Kathryn Anderson of BYU set the previous record in 2004 on May 29th when she ran a 9:44.68 in Northridge, Calif.
The race began with Howard quickly finding a comfortable spot in the middle of the 12-person pack. As the middle half of the race wore on, Howard found herself drifting in between the lead four-person pack and the staggered secondary pack.
The redshirt junior never lost sight of the lead pack in the last 400m, and she used a remarkable kick in the last 200m to bring the fans of Hayward Field to their feet. With the eventual race-winner, Leah O'Connor of Michigan State well ahead of the rest of the field, the rest of the race became a battle for second place.
Entering the last 200m in fifth place, the Pasco, Wash., native used a gradual burst of speed to close on the three competitors ahead of her and claim the runner-up finish. Howard demolished her previous career-best and school-record time of 9:58.45 that she ran two days ago in the semifinal race.
Howard's time is also the 12th-fastest 3,000m steeplechase time in the history of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championship Meet. She is the 17th Bronco in school history to earn a top-two individual finish at an NCAA Championship. The first-team All-America accolade is Howard's second All-America honor of her career.
Thanks to the performances from Howard, Emma Bates and Hayli Bozarth, the Broncos now find themselves in a four-way tie for seventh place in the women's team standings with 18 points.
Boise State will have a chance to add to their team total tomorrow when Bates competes in the 5,000m at 3:24 p.m. (PT). Bates will be chasing the potential ninth All-America honor of her career and a second national title on the weekend.