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Crestwood graduate Bridget Franek qualifies for 2012 Summer Olympics

By Michael Beaven Published: June 29, 2012

Bridget Franek, a 2006 Crestwood High School graduate, will be a member of the United States track and field team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Franek, 24, finished second in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase final Friday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene.

Emma Coburn won the event in a time of 9:32.78. Franek placed second in 9:35.62 and Shalaya Kipp took third at 9:35.73. All three runners will be Olympians.

"It was pretty amazing," Franek said following the race in an interview televised on NBC Sports Network. "I heard the people in the stands. I also heard the people from across the nation sending me cheers of support. For that I am so thankful." 

Franek, a 2010 Penn State graduate, will be making her first Olympic appearance. She won the 3,000 steeplechase NCAA Division I title in 2010. In high school, she won a Division I 1,600 championship as a junior in 2005 and then won four Division II state titles as a senior in 2006 in the 800, 1,600, 3,200 and 3,200 relay.  

Franek is affiliated with the Nike Oregon Track Club Elite.

Coburn and Kipp both hail from the University of Colorado. Coburn came into the final as the No. 1 seed and Franek was seeded second.

"There is definitely a little more pressue [as the favorite], but I had faith in my training and faith in my coaches that today was going to come together as long as I just focused on doing what I knew I could do." Coburn said. "I am so happy." 

Ashley Higginson (9:38.06) and Lisa Aguilera (9:41.95) placed fourth and fifth Friday. They met the Olympic standard time of completing the race in under 9:43, but do not advance because they did not finish in the top three.

"Honestly, I just went out and just followed these two spectacular athletes and it worked out for me," Kipp said of finishing behind Coburn and Franek.

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