Track

Track and field: Jager qualifies for steeplechase finals at IAAF World Track and Field Championships

Evan Jager, who grew up in Algonquin and graduated from Jacobs High School, celebrates winning the silver medal after the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase final Aug. 17, 2016, during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Evan Jager, who grew up in Algonquin and graduated from Jacobs High School, celebrates winning the silver medal after the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase final Aug. 17, 2016, during the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

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.

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