Southwest Missouri native Courtney Frerichs is heading to Rio de Janeiro looking for gold.
Frerichs, who hails from Nixa, Missouri, finished second in the steeplechase at the U.S Olympic track and field trials on Thursday, good enough to earn her a ticket to the Olympics in Brazil in August.
Before finishing her collegiate career at the University of New Mexico, Frerichs ran for UMKC. One of the school’s most-decorated athletes, she took second in the steeplechase at the 2015 NCAA Track and Field Championships. In 2016, Frerichs won the event while competing for New Mexico.
A grueling event, steeplechasers run nearly two miles while hopping over barriers and plunging into pools of water.
Needing to finish in the top three, and squaring off against a field of previous Olympians and NCAA champions, Frerichs closed on a thrilling final lap to book a spot on the U.S. team behind Emma Coburn.
St. Louis native Colleen Quigley also qualified to represent the U.S. in the steeplechase.