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.”