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Steeplechasers with Oregon ties qualify for next round of Olympic trials originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The drama is building – and it is only Day 3 of the Olympic Track and Field trials. 

The first round of the women’s 3000m steeplechase trail for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is complete and four of the 14 women advancing to the next stage have ties to Oregon. 

Courtney Frerichs, Mel Lawrence, Katie Rainsberger and Mahala Norris all did what they needed to do to qualify for the next round of the trials. 

Frerichs finished third in Heat 1 with a time of 9:27.75, the fifth-best time of the first round. She is a part of the Bowerman Track Club, which is based out of Portland. Lawrence, Rainsberger and Norris finished third, fourth and fifth in Heat 2 to keep their hopes of a trip to Tokyo alive. 

The 31-year-old Lawrence, who lives and trains out of Bend, Oregon, finished Heat 2 with a time of 9:29.30.  Rainsberger is a former runner for the University of Oregon and the University of Waashington, who ended with a time of 9:33.38. Norris graduated from Roseburg High School, the same town she grew up in, and finished the qualifiers with a time of 9:35.32. 

Oregon State athlete Kaylee Mitchell did not qualify for the next round, as she finished 32 of 33 athletes competing in the event. She ended with a time of 10:26.69. 

The final round for the women’s 3000m steeplechase will take place on Thursday, June 24 at 8:47 p.m.