Sports

Adrianna Royal fifth best steeplechaser in nation

Oak Harbor’s Adrianna Royal clears a hurdle en route to victory in the 2,000-meter steeplechase at the Portland Track Festival June 13. - Photo by James Fields
Oak Harbor’s Adrianna Royal clears a hurdle en route to victory in the 2,000-meter steeplechase at the Portland Track Festival June 13.
— image credit: Photo by James Fields

The steeplechase is not an event included in high school track and field meets but for Adrianna Royal, it’s just another challenge.

Royal is a three-sport athlete at Oak Harbor High School, where she competes on the cross country team in the fall, plays basketball in the winter and runs track in the spring.

In between, she competes for the Federal Way Track Club and is currently fifth-ranked in the nation among 15 and 16-year-old girls in the 2,000-meter steeplechase.

The steeplechase is a grueling event where competitors jump over wooden hurdles positioned around the track, but they also have to clear a water jump during the race.

“I found the event on the internet and it looked like it would be a fun thing to try,” she said.

Competing at the Portland Track Festival June 13, Royal won the steeplechase with a personal record time of 7:46.30.

She also placed second in the 1,500, one of the events she runs for OHHS along with the 800, and set another personal record with a time of 5:07.02 in the 1,500.

Her next stop was at the Pacific Northwest Association Championships for Junior Olympics June 27 and 28 in Seattle, where she earned gold, silver and bronze medals.

Royal won the 15 to 18-year-old division in the steeplechase, with a clocking of 7:54.

She followed up with a second-place finish in the 1,500 in a time of 5:10 and finally captured the bronze medal in the 800, crossing the finish line in a time of 2:28.

Royal’s next meet is the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic Regional Championships scheduled for July 9 and 10 at Willamette University in Salem, Ore., where she has plans on breaking the age-group record in the steeplechase that now stands at 7:38.

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