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Pappas' Steeplechase Performance Ranks as Best in Nation

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By Doug Austin
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HANOVER, N.H. - The coaches knew that night that senior Alexi Pappas (Alameda, Calif.) had run a great race in the 3,000-meter steeplechase Friday at Princeton's Sam Howell Invitational. How great it was would not be fully understood until Monday morning, though.

Pappas' new Dartmouth women's track & field record of 10:07.58 eclipsed her own program mark in the event by more than 18 seconds (10:25.82).

But when the results from the entire weekend were released Monday morning, Pappas' new program standard also stood at the top of the rankings as the best time by any runner in the nation this season.

"Lexi clearly ran a great race and I am incredibly pleased with her performance," assistant coach Mark Coogan said. "She is a very hard worker and that race really showed how determined she is this spring."

The second-fastest time in the steeple this spring was also set on Saturday, but at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., by Syracuse's Heather Stephens. Her time was nearly four seconds back of Pappas' time as Stephens edged Michigan's Alexandra Lepitch with a 10:11.51 finish.

So far this season, 19 runners from across Division I have run the steeplechase in under 10:20, but only the Dartmouth senior has gone below 10:10, doing so by nearly two and a half seconds.