Hannah Steelman, seen here competing in the 2020 Atlantic Coast Conference cross country championship for North Carolina State University, finished 14th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Division I track and field championships. Credit: Courtesy of N.C. State Athletics

Orono High School graduate Hannah Steelman, now a junior at North Carolina State University, came up just short of a berth in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final at the NCAA Division I track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon, on Thursday evening.

Steelman, the reigning Atlantic Coast Conference champion in the event, placed seventh in the first of two semifinal heats at the NCAAs in a time of 9 minutes, 46.09 seconds.

The top five finishers in each heat and the next two fastest times qualified for Saturday’s final, and while Steelman’s time was her second-fastest of the season in the event it was just the 14th fastest among the 24 runners who qualified for the race and 3.68 seconds behind the last qualifier, Olivia Markevich of Notre Dame.

Markevich finished sixth in the first heat in 9:42.41.

Cortney Wayment of Brigham Young University was the fastest qualifier in Thursday’s steeplechase semifinals at 9:32.52.

Steelman’s 14th-place finish was good enough for her to earn second-team NCAA All-America honors, marking the third straight year she has gained that status in the event. She earned second-team recognition as a first-year runner at Wofford College and first-team recognition as a sophomore at the South Carolina school before transferring to NC State.

She also was a 2020 All-American in cross country for NC State.

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...