Evan Jager is the fastest steeplechaser that America has produced. I hold him in the same esteem that I hold the late Horace Ashenfelter, the 1952 Olympic gold medalist at the steeplechase, George Young, the 1968 Olympic bronze medalist at the steeplechase, and Brian Diemer, the 1984 Olympic bronze medalist.
In July of 2015, I witnessed an almost perfect race. At the Meeting de Paris in the Stade de France, I watched Evan Jager run a near-perfect steeplechase. The steeplechase is a 7 and one-half lap race, on a 400-meter track, with 28 barriers and seven water jumps. Evan had run seven plus laps, and 27 barriers and all seven water jumps with perfection. With one barrier to go, Evan Jager came down to the ground. He clipped the barrier and rolled on the ground for less than a second. I screamed a four-letter world as the 40,000 fans gasped. The French love the steeplechase, and they had willed Evan Jager on for nearly seven and one-half laps of nearly perfect hurdling and running, which is no mean feat. Stunned by the fall, Evan got up and rushed home, losing the race as an incredulous Kenyan competitor went by the fallen American.
Evan Jager hit the line in 8:00.45, a new American record. He would go on to take Olympic silver in 2016 and World Champs bronze in 2017. Since then, he battled four years of injuries, but in 2022, he put together a fine year, took second in the US champs, and moved into the final of the World Champs steeplechase.
You can watch his final on Monday, July 18, 2022.
This interview was done upon his finishing of the steeple heats on July 15, 2022.