Runner clocks second-fastest time ever … after stopping to fix shoe

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Kenyan Celliphine Chespol won the Pre Classic 3000m steeplechase in the second-fastest time ever … after stopping to fix her shoe on the penultimate lap.

Chespol, 18, contorted the back of her right shoe on the water jump with about 550 meters left in Friday night’s race at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

At the time, Chespol was in a three-woman lead group that included Ruth Jebet, the Olympic champion and world-record holder. She stopped for two seconds to address the heel as the other two runners went by her.

But Chespol surged back into the lead with 200 meters to go and won in 8:58.78. That trails only Jebet’s world record of 8:52.78 set Aug. 27. Chespol slashed nearly seven seconds off her personal best.

Full Pre Classic results are here.

Pre Classic coverage continues Saturday on NBC and streaming on NBC Sports Gold from 4-6 p.m. ET.

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World downhill champion Ilka Stuhec tears ACL

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Lindsey Vonn’s top rival for downhill gold is in danger of missing the upcoming Olympics.

Ilka Stuhec, a world champion Alpine skier from Slovenia, suffered a torn ACL after a practice crash in Austria this weekend.

Stuhec had become a strong medal favorite for PyeongChang after winning FIS World Cup titles in downhill and Alpine combined last season. She also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2017 World Championships, where Vonn placed third.

According to a post on the FIS website, surgery is set for this Wednesday, with more information to come after that. But preliminary reports suggest that she is likely to miss the Olympics.

“For now it looks like Ilka Stuhec will have to miss a large part or maybe the whole World Cup season, including the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea,” a spokesperson for Struhec told Reuters.

In a tweet, Struhec acknowledged that she would be sidelined “for a few months.”

The Olympics start in less than four months.

 

U.S. Ski & Snowboard mourns after 17-year-old aerials skier found dead

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Mikey Lillis, a 17-year-old aerials skier, died in his sleep at his home in East Rochester, N.Y., overnight Saturday, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

“We are a family, and as a family our entire team grieves for Mikey, his own family and his teammates,” U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO Tiger Shaw said in a statement. “We’ll remember him for the pathway he was following and the goals he was beginning to achieve. Our condolences go out to his parents Bernie and Jamie and the entire Lillis family.”

Lillis was working his way to join his two older brothers at the elite international level. He made three podiums on the Nor-Am Cup tour between the last two seasons.

Jon Lillis, 23, is the reigning world champion in aerials. Chris Lillis, 19, won the FIS Rookie of the Year award last season with four top-10 finishes on the World Cup.