BLOOMINGTON, IND. -- Furman freshman Kristlin Gear won the 3,000m Steeplechase and rookie Emma Kuntz advanced to the 800m finals and established a new program record Thursday at the USA Track & Field Junior Outdoor Championships, which are being held this weekend at the Hayes Track at the Haugh Complex on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
With the victory, Gear qualifies for Team USA's U20 world team, which will compete at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships July 10-15 in Tampere, Finland. A native of Fort Meyers, Fla., she took the lead in the third lap and slowly pulled away from the field, winning the race by more than three seconds with a time of 10:28.05. Gear, who earned honorable mention All-American accolades in the event at last week's NCAA Championships, posted a school-record time of 9:52.71 at the NCAA East Preliminaries to reach the finals, where she placed 24th nationally.
Earlier in the night, Kuntz, a native of Louisville, Ky., posted a time of 2:08.96 in the 800m, breaking her own program record and placing fourth in her heat and sixth overall. The top three runners in each of the two heats plus the runners with next two best times advanced to the finals, which are scheduled for Saturday at 6:20 p.m. The reigning Southern Conference champion in the event, Kuntz previously set the program record of 2:09.91 at the Oregon Twilight meet in May.
The top two individuals in each event at the meet qualify for Team USA's U20 world team.
"I am very proud of Emma for advancing to finals, and this was obviously a tremendous race for Krissy," said Furman head coach Robert Gary. "She looked very controlled and did a great job earning her Team USA kit. She will represent Furman and Team USA well!"
Live results from the meet are available at https://results.usatf.org/2018JrOutdoors/ and a live webcast of the event is available to paid subscribers at http://www.usatf.tv/gprofile.php?do=videos&mgroup_event_id=7289&year=2018&mgroup_id=45365&video_id=245974.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information