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Ex-Omaha Marian, Millard North track star Emily Sisson just misses medal at U.S. championships

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DES MOINES — Athletes with ties to Omaha and western Iowa turned in strong performances during the first two days of competition at the U.S. track and field championships.

Emily Sisson finished fourth in the 10,000-meter run Thursday in the four-day meet at Drake Stadium. Sisson, running for New Balance, finished the race in 32:06.31.

Sisson ran for Omaha Marian as a freshman in 2007 and swept the three distance races at the 2008 state high school championships the following year competing for Millard North.

She also competed for the Cornhusker Flyers Track Club and finished her last two high school seasons in her native Missouri before becoming a two-time NCAA champion in 2015 at Providence.

Wichita State junior Rebekah Topham qualified for Saturday’s 3,000 steeplechase final. The nine-time Iowa 1-A state track and field gold medalist from Griswold just missed cracking the 10-minute barrier with a time of 10:00.59.

Arkansas and Papillion-La Vista graduate Kenzo Cotton finished ninth in the semifinals of the 100-meter dash in 10.14 after crossing in 10.13 in the first round and did not qualify for the final. Cotton will run in the opening round of the 200 on Saturday, an event in which he is seeded seventh.

Former Omaha North standout Brianna McGhee qualified for the semifinals in the 100 hurdles. McGhee, who spent one season at UTEP before transferring to TCU and now trains in California, finished in 12.99.

Shelby Houlihan, a Sioux City East graduate who competed in the 2016 Olympics, qualified in the 1,500 in 4:14.79 , competing for the Nike Bowerman Track Club in Portland, Oregon.

Houlihan was a 12-time All-American at Arizona State, where she won the 2014 NCAA 1,500 championship as a junior. She also will compete Sunday in the 5,000, an event in which she is the top seed at 15:00.37.

The 5K is the event in which Houlihan competed in the Olympics. After finishing second at the 2016 Olympic Trials, Houlihan finished 11th in the final in Rio.

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