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Emily Oren cel­e­brates at the NACAC games earlier this month.
(Photo: Molly Oren | Courtesy)

In the 2016 United States Olympic Trials, Emily Oren ‘16 placed 30th out of 35 women in the pre­lim­inary round of the 3000 meter steeple­chase. At the 2017 United States Track and Field Cham­pi­onships, she qual­ified for finals, placing 12th. This June, Oren really made her mark.

The Hillsdale track and field alumna is training and com­peting pro­fes­sionally for Oiselle, a women’s ath­letic clothing company. She com­peted in the 2018 United States Track and Field Cham­pi­onships in Des Moines, Iowa. Not only did she qualify for the final heat of the 3000 meter steeple­chase, but she placed fifth out of 23 women with a time of 9 minutes and 44.75 seconds.

“Before the race, I was thinking seventh would be great and that would be a really good day for me,” Oren said. “But I got in the race and hung with the pack. I felt really good the last half mile so I wanted to see what I could do and went for it.”

Hillsdale track and field head coach Andrew Towne said he is proud of how Oren has developed and how she con­tinues to improve her standings in the steeple­chase.

Oren was a three-time All-American in the steeple­chase at Hillsdale, with national cham­pi­onships in 2015 and 2016. She also holds the GLIAC and the Hillsdale record with a time of 9:50.54 in the event. Her col­le­giate success earned her many honors in 2015 and 2016: the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Asso­ci­ation Division II track Athlete of the Year, the Midwest Region track Athlete of the Year, the GLIAC track Athlete of the Meet, and the GLIAC Commissioner’s Award. 

Her placement at the U.S. Track and Field Cham­pi­onships earned her a spot to compete for Team USA at the North American Central American and Caribbean Ath­letic Asso­ci­ation Cham­pi­onships in Toronto, Ontario on August 10. She placed second overall in the steeple­chase, earning a silver medal with a time of 9:56.66. Despite the time not being a per­sonal best, Oren said it was a great expe­rience, as she placed one spot higher than her seeding. 

“I got to see what went along with being on a U.S. national team and I got to meet a lot of very tal­ented ath­letes,” Oren said. “It was good to see how those meets are run inter­na­tionally by the [Inter­na­tional Asso­ci­ation for Ath­letics Fed­er­a­tions] as I have not had that expe­rience before, so hope­fully down the road I will be pre­pared for even bigger meets at that stage. It was my first time com­peting inter­na­tionally which was very cool but with it being Canada it didn’t feel a ton dif­ferent other than the fact that other coun­tries were there. When you are racing at meets across the United States you are always racing new people so it just felt like a pretty normal thing.”

Oren will con­tinue her training, focusing on events such as the 1500 meter and the 5k. Joe Lynn, who was Oren’s coach during her tenure at Hillsdale, con­tinues to be her coach during her pro­fes­sional career. She said she hopes running fast in those events will increase her speed, strength and con­fi­dence.

“I was pretty pleased with my season overall,” Oren said. “I felt like the season was a step forward in the sense that I got some good expe­rience, which allows me to have more con­fi­dence going into this upcoming season.”