Carl Blackhurst of Haines finished 10th out of the 15 runners in his 3,000-meter steeplechase heat Friday at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., missing out on a spot in today's finals and a berth in the World University Games.
Blackhurst, who recently completed his eligibility at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo., posted a time of 8 minutes, 53.82 seconds to finish 21st out of the 30 runners in the two steeplechase heats. The time was well off Blackhurst's personal record of 8:42.93 and behind his goal of 8:30.
While Blackhurst said before the meet he realized making the 14-runner finals would be difficult, he was hoping to be among the top two collegians in the race so he'd earn a berth in the World University Games in Beijing, China, this fall. Blackhurst was the fifth college runner out of the seven entered. Three collegians -- Steve Slattery of Colorado, Daniel Lincoln of Arkansas and Andy Tate of Kansas -- made the finals and will battle for the two World University Games spots.
Blackhurst was in the second heat Friday, which was won by Clint Wells of the New York Athletic Club in a relatively slow time of 8:32.83. That time would have taken seventh place in the first heat, which was won in 8:25.47 by Tim Broe of Team Adidas who edged teammate Anthony Famiglietti by 0.05 seconds to win a close race that had four runners within a second of the winner.
The American record is 8:09.17 set by Henry Marsh in 1985, and the world record in the steeplechase is 7:55.72 by Kenya's Bernard Barmasai in 1997.
Blackhurst will now head to Dublin, Ireland, where he will train for two months with a club team while running some races in Europe. Blackhurst has one semester of school left to complete his double major in English and history.