Glastonbury native Donn Cabral qualified for the Olympic 3,000-meter steeplechase finals on Sunday, running and an 8 minute, 21 second race and finishing fourth in the third qualifying heat at 8:30 Friday.
Cabral finished the 16-runner heat with a time of 8:21.46 after having led the field at the 1,000 and 2,000-meter intervals of the race. Ethiopia's Roba Gari passed Cabral in the third interval of the race, finishing in first place with a time of 8:20.68.
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France won the first heat with a time of 8:16.23. Evan Jager of Team USA qualified for Sunday's finals after coming in second with a time of 8:26.61.
Brimin Kiprop Kipruto of Uganda led from start to finish and won Heat 2 in 8:28.62. American Kyle Acorn failed to advance, finishing ninth with a time of 8:37.11.
Signs lining Main St. and Hebron Ave. are all proclaiming Glastonbury’s support for Cabral, their hometown Olympic hero.
Cabral graduated from Glastonbury High School in 2008, where he ran cross country. During his high school career, he was two-time State Open and New England cross country champion. He ran the fastest mile in the country his senior year, according to an article by the Hartford Courant.
After high school Cabral attended Princeton, where he first ran in the steeplechase, a grueling race that combines distance running, hurdles, barriers and water to get past. He led Princeton to its first NCAA title since 1934 in June, and soon thereafter qualified for the Olympics.
Now he’s in London, continuing to train daily before Friday’s race. On Thursday Cabral ran along the Thames in London to Mile End Stadium before more preparatory training, according to Cabral’s Facebook page.
The finals for the race are scheduled for Sunday at 4:25 p.m. Stay tuned to Patch for updates on Cabral’s progress!