LOS ANGELES, California -- Southern California broke its drought Thursday night with a downpour, lightning and even a touch of hail. But before the heavens opened, American middle-distance runners turned in brisk and competitive early-season performances at the HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic, the second stop outdoors of the 2015 USATF Championship Series.
The first races of the night, in the steeplechase, produced six performances that qualified for the 2015 IAAF World Championships. For the women, Stephanie Garcia ran alone in front after the pacesetter dropped off 7 minutes into the race, finishing strong in 9:37.19 to set a meet and stadium record by more than four seconds. Ashley Higginson was second in 9:41.27 and Genevieve Lalonde third in 9:42.40 to post qualifiers under the IAAF A standard of 9:44.00.