Evan Jager, a 2007 Jacobs graduate, qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase finals at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in London on Sunday.
Jager, the 2016 Olympic steeplechase runner-up, had the fastest qualifying time in 8:20.36 Sunday to advance to Tuesday’s finals. There will be a viewing party on Tuesday at Buffalo Wild Wings in Algonquin. The race is scheduled for about 3:10 p.m. CDT.
Jager won a Diamond League steeplechase race last month in 8:01, his second-fastest time of his career. His time edged Ethiopia’s Tafese Seboka (8:20.48) on Sunday for the fastest qualifying time. Morocoo’s Soufiane El Bakkalli won the other heat in 8:22.68.
Jager is trying to become the first U.S. steeplechase champion at the Worlds meet since Horace Ashenfelter in 1952.
Jager has the second-fastest steeplechase time in Olympics history last year (8:04.28). Kenya’s Conselus Kipruto’s 8:03.28 won that race, but it was a breakthrough moment that vaulted Jager to among the very best in the world in that race.
Kipruto is injured and Jager, 28, will be the favorite in Tuesday’s steeplechase final.