Updike qualifies for Olympic Trials in steeplechase with PR

May 22, 2016

Isaac Updike track

Isaac Updike

Just two weeks ago at the Oregon Twilight, Isaac Updike of Ketchikan had PR’d in winning the steeplechase.

He headed to the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic in Los Angeles, California, full of confidence.

It quickly was questioned after he found himself in last place after the first lap.

Rather than panic, however, he stayed patient and powered home with the time of his life.

Updike made a big move in the later stages in the race to post an Olympic A standard time of 8:31.42 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

“Still crazy. Kind of hard to believe,” he told me. “Qualifying for the Trials hasn’t really set in yet.”

The U.S. Olympic Trials are the first week of July in Eugene, Oregon.

Updike, of Ketchikan High fame, had posted a time of 8:43 at the Oregon Twilight. He felt he could go faster against strong competition, which exactly what happened.

In the last five weeks he cut 16-seconds off his 5K time and then sliced 12 seconds off his previous steeplechase PR.

“As for the big leaps, I think I have been consistent in training and just continued to build off of college in terms of volume and intensity in workouts,” Updike said.

He was a four-time NAIA All-American and won the 2013 national championship in the steeplechase for Eastern Oregon University before graduating last year.

He loves the challenge of the event that is part footrace, part obstacle course, witch participants required to jump over barriers and water pits throughout.

“It is one of the most satisfying things when you get it right,” Updike said.