It’s turning into a golden summer for Ashley Higginson. After winning the gold medal for Team USA in the 3,000- meter steeplechase at the Pan-American Games in Toronto, Canada, last month, the former Colts Neck High School great picked up a second international gold medal representing the United States at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Championships in San Jose, Costa Rico.
Higginson’s winning time of 9:56.75 established a new meet record for the women’s 3K steeplechase. The old mark was 10:21.82 set by American Kristin Anderson in 2007. Shalaya Kipp, the runner-up to Higginson in the Pan-Am Games, was second again to give Team USA another first- and second-place finish. Kipp was also under the old meet record (10:03.91).
The steeplechase was contested Aug. 9.
These international wins give Higginson, who runs professionally for Saucony and is a member of the New Jersey-New York Track Club, momentum heading into the Olympic year, 2016.
Having run a series of personal bests this year — ranging from the 1,500 (4:13.91) and 3,000 meters (8:57.86) indoors and 5,000 outdoors (15:18.53) — Higginson continues to improve every year.