Buffalo Soldier: Exclusive Interview With Emma Coburn

The Colorado senior-to-be is continuing a strong steeplechase tradition.

Interview by: Kevin Beck

Emma Coburn has steadily developed from a modest high-school runner into a national -class steeplechaser in less than three years. Photo: Mike Scott

Last month, University of Colorado senior-to-be Emma Coburn put an exclamation point on a superb track season by winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase at both the Division I NCAA Championships and the USA National Championships. The latter performance earned the Colorado native a trip to the IAAF World Track and Field Championships, which will be held in Daegu, South Korea beginning on August 27. She ran her personal best time, 9:40.51, on May 1 at the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, California, winning by over eight seconds.

Coburn is 2008 graduate of Crested Butte High School, where she was an eight-time 2A state champion, set school records in every event from 400m to 3200m and also high-jumped 5′ 1″. Nevertheless, she is another in a long line of Coloradans who came to C.U. with comparatively modest credentials — she never broke 11:30 for two miles as a prep — and steadily developed into a national-class athlete. Last fall, she finished 53rd at the NCAA D-I Cross-Country Championships and was eighth in the mile at the NCAA D-I Indoor Champs in March in 4:36.08, the second-fastest time ever by a member of the Lady Buffs.

Competitor.com caught up with Coburn while she was taking a short training break back home in Crested Butte.

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