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Portland's Evan Jager wins U.S. steeplechase

Galen Rupp second in 5,000; discus thrower Liz Podominick also makes world championships team


DES MOINES, IOWA — Portland's Evan Jager and Galen Rupp were among the athletes with Oregon ties who earned spots in the August world championships with their performances on the final day of the U.S. track and field meet at Drake Stadium.

Jager, the 2012 Olympic Trials champion, captured the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase in a stadium-record 8:20.67.

Rupp placed second in the 5,000 meters, three days after his victory in the U.S. 10,000.

Jager took the lead with just over three laps to go.

"I came off the water jump and I must have had a really good one because I shot out right in front of him (eventual runner-up Dan Huling of Columbus, Ohio, who also trains in Portland)," Jager said. "I found myself in the lead, and once I was there I just tried to slowly squeeze it down. I felt really good and was able to hold everyone off.”

Rupp (14:54.91) finished behind veteran Bernard Lagat (14:54.16), who picked up his ninth national title.

“I had plenty of time to recover" from the 10,000," Rupp said. "The heat made it hot, but it wasn’t too bad because we didn’t run that fast. It was just a matter of getting hydrated and rested a lot. I just have to keep working on my speed, but I’m really happy with where I’m at and how I ran today.”

In the men's 800, Oregon Track Club Elite's Nick Symmonds placed second, ending his streak of five victories at the national meet.

Symmonds finished in 1:43.70, with Duane Solomon Jr., first in 1:43.27. Brandon Johnson was third in 1:43.97. All three are headed to the world championships, Aug. 10-18 in Moscow.

"This is the deepest field I’ve faced in a USA Championships," Symmonds said. "That’s a very good final, and we’re sending three very good guys to Moscow who have an honest chance of being in the finals.”

It was the first national crown for Solomon, 28, a former USC standout making his ninth appearance. Symmonds was seeking his U.S. eighth title.

Oregon Ducks star Elijah Greer, coming off an NCAA title in the 800, was fourth in 1:45.04, and fellow OTC Elite member Tyler Mulder took fifth in 1:45.13.

Another ex-Duck who earned her way into the world meet was pole vaulter Becky Holliday. She placed third with a clearance of 14 feet, 11 inches.

Portland's Liz Podominick, a former Minnesota Gopher who trains under Mac Wilkins, took third in the women's discus with a best of 199-1, also earning a trip to Moscow.

Ryan Crouser, from Barlow High and the University of Texas, came away seventh in the shot put with a best of 64-0 1/2, about 6 1/2 feet short of his winning mark at the NCAA championships.

In the women's 800, the UO's Laura Roesler placed fifth with a personal-best 2:00.23. Geena Gall, who trains in Corvallis, ended up eighth in 2:04.07.