If do-overs were permitted in track and field, then USA champion Nicole Bush would certainly relish one. In the second heat of Saturday’s 3,000 meter women’s steeplechase preliminary round at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Bush finished a disappointing 13th which denied her a chance to compete in Tuesday’s final (complete results of the event: http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-championships/14th-iaaf-worl...).
“Definitely not what I was going for,” a dejected Bush acknowledged following her race last Saturday. “Now that I know what it is like- if I get a second opportunity- I’ll know what to expect.”
Bush, a seven-time All-American at Michigan State University (2005-2009), is a member of the Furman Elite running club located in Greenville, South Carolina (http://www.runfurman.com/Mission%20Statement.html).
She has had to battle a stint of injuries the past several years which, until this year, prevented her from making the breakthroughs she has sought in her professional career. At the 2009 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, an official had set one of the steeplechase beams above the 30 inch height used in the women‘s event (men jump at 36 inches). The inaccuracy is believed to have caused Bush to fracture the cuboid bone in her right foot and miss a shot at competing in that year’s world championship.
Bush, 27, qualified for the World Championships by winning the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in June. In what can be described as nothing short of a gutsy performance, Bush took the lead from the starting gun in the seven and a half lap race and never looked back. Her time of 9:44.53 was just five seconds off the personal best that she set one month earlier at the Ponce Grand Prix.
Bush will have little time to reflect on her busy track season as she returns to Greenville this week. She was hired earlier in the summer as an assistant cross country/track and field coach with Furman University where she trains as a post-collegiate athlete.
"Our entire program is excited for Nicole to join our coaching staff," Furman assistant coach Rita Gary said in an interview with mlive.com. "Her own individual athletic achievements speak for themselves, but her interaction, especially with the women's distance runners, will have a tremendous impact on our athletes' development. She is a great testimony to being part of a strong collegiate program, dealing with adversity and reaching the highest levels of our sport.”
She will plan on taking some down-time as she returns to South Carolina before gearing back up for fall cross country.
Bush is accustomed to training with world class athletes while running for Furman Elite. Other club members include:
- Heidi Gregson (Iona graduate; 4:19.14 in the 1,500 meters; 2:06.35 in the 800 meters)
- Jeff See (2011 USA Indoor Mile Champion; 9th place finisher at the 2012 US Olympic Trials in the 1,500)
- Cory Leslie (9th place finisher at the 2012 US Olympic Trials in the 3,000 meter steeple chase)
- Lee Gilmer (Furman graduate; 4:04 miler)
- Jack Bolas (Finalist in the 2008 and 2012 US Olympic Trials in the 1,500 meters).
Craig Forys and Wilkerson Given have recently joined Furman Elite.
Nicole Bush’s Personal Bests:
- 3,000 meter steeplechase- 9:39.36 (2013)
- 1,500 meters- 4:14.17 (2013)
- One Mile- 4:36.27 (2010)
- 3,000 meter (indoors)- 9:04.35 (2009)
- 5,000 meters- 15:55.41 (2009)
Nicole Bush’s IAAF profile page: http://www.iaaf.org/athletes/united-states/nicole-bush-225074