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(Nashville, Tenn.) Zach Ripley couldn't have asked for a better race Saturday night as he ran a lifetime best in the 3000 meter steeple chase at the Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville, TN. His time of 8:41.74 not only bettered the US Olympic Trial "B" standard of 8:45.00, but earns Ripley his first ever trip to a US major championship.
Ripley, who graduated from Cornerstone in 2010, was a seven time All-American and NAIA Outdoor National Champion in the 3000 meter steeplechase his senior year. His time currently ranks him 33rd on the US list, according to trackandfieldnews.com.
The race included some of the top steeplers in the world, including Ben Bruce (Adidas) and Anthony Famiglietti (Reckless Running), both ranked top 20 in the US. Bruce won and broke the meet record with a winning time of 8:26.08. He also bettered the US Olympic Trial "A" Standard. Nine runners hit at least hit "B" standard in the race, Ripley took eight overall.
Ripley is still coached by Cornerstone men's distance coach Nate Van Holten and plans to run again in two weeks at the American Milers Club High Performance Series in Indianapolis, IN.