KAMLOOPS, British Columbia, Canada - Baylor track and field athlete Rachel Johnson closed out her 2014 season by winning gold in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NACAC U-23 Championships on Saturday.
Representing the United States, Johnson cruised to a new meet record time of 9:46.79, winning by just under nine seconds. The closest competitor to the Plano, Texas, product was Maria Bernard of Canada, who ran a 9:55.69. Johnson, who has been training for the upcoming cross country season, was only back on the track once last week before heading to the competition.
The time was the fourth-fastest of the season for Johnson, after she placed fifth at the USATF Championships in June with a school-record mark of 9:41.56. She ran a 9:42.82 in the preliminary round of that meet.
She also placed third at the NCAA Championships in June with another school-record performance of 9:44.47. Johnson's first school-record performance of the season came at the Stanford Invitational in April where she was second with a time of 9:49.31.
The NACAC meet features more than 500 athletes from 31 countries in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Athletes, ages 20, 21 and 22, will compete at Hillside Stadium on the campus of Truman Rivers University in the eighth edition of the event.
TOP QUOTE #1
"It was another outstanding performance for Rachel. To run that time, after one time back on the track, is truly amazing. She has a big fall ahead of her."- head coach Todd Harbour on Johnson's performance
Saturday's race wraps up the 2013-2014 track season for Baylor.
COMPLETE SATURDAY BAYLOR RESULTS
3,000-Meter Steeplechase - Final
1. Rachel Johnson - 9:46.79 (new meet record & fourth-fastest in school history)
Follow the official Twitter account of the team: @BaylorTrack for an inside look with results, photos and stories.