It is shaping up to be another historic week for two of the most decorated alums from the Colorado track and field program.

On Wednesday, former Buffaloes All-American and 2016 Olympic medalist Emma Coburn survived the preliminary heats of the 3,000-meter steeplechase to advance to Friday's final at the IAAF World Championships in London.

Coburn's berth in the championship heat arrives two days after another former CU standout, Jenny Simpson, captured the silver medal in the 1,500-meter run. Coburn and Simpson made history a year ago by becoming the first American women to win a medal in their respective events (both won bronze).

With the top three finishers in each heat, along with the next six best overall times, advancing to the final, Coburn was able to breathe easily after placing second in the third heat. Coburn likely still will have plenty of energy in reserve for Friday's final after cruising through the finish line in a conservative 9 minutes, 27.42 seconds.

That mark is well behind the American record 9:07.63 she ran at last year's Olympics. Coburn also posted a 9:07.96 in late May at the Prefontaine Classic. With Coburn safely through the prelims she will compete in the final on Friday afternoon at 2:25 p.m. MDT.

Coburn finished fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2015 world championships and finished 10th in 2011.


Friday morning's slate also includes the preliminary rounds of the women's discus, which will feature Silver Creek graduate and Stanford senior Valarie Allman.

Pat Rooney: or