Lydia Olivere runs the 3,000m steeplechase for Villanova

Lydia Olivere runs the 3,000m steeplechase for Villanova

Padua-alum Lydia Olivere struck gold Saturday night as she won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Pan American U20 Games in Costa Rica Saturday night.

One of Delaware's top 3 fastest high school female cross country runners on several courses dominated the field, breaking her personal record by 10 seconds to finish the race in 10:12.16, just a blink under 20 seconds ahead of Canada's Grace Fetherstonhaugh, with fellow American Megan Worrel winning the bronze almost 24 seconds back of the Delawarean.

Olivere, who only started running steeplechase at the beginning of the collegiate outdoor season, qualified for the PanAm Games with an eventful race at the USATF's.

She blew a turn for the water jump early in the race, but after backtracking, was still able to overcome a 4 second deficit from 9th place with a powerful move on the second-to-last lap, and went on to win the race by 3 seconds.

WDEL/Delaware SportsZone Sports Director. National Sports Media Association's Delaware Sportscaster of the Year (2013).