Event: 3,000m steeplechase
PR: 8:21.47 (2008)
Born: September 11, 1984 in Bakersfield, Calif.
Current Residence: Longmont, Colo.
High School: Taft Union (Calif.) HS '02
College: Colorado '07
Coach: Mark Wetmore
Agent: Chris Layne
Career Highlights: Runner-up at 2008 Olympic Trials; 2003 USA Junior 5,000m champion; 2007 Big 12 Conference 3,000m steeplechase champion; 2008 NCAA Outdoor Champs runner-up
Nelson entered the men’s 3,000m steeplechase final at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials needing to finish in the top three and better the Olympic “A” standard of 8:24 to make the U.S. team for Beijing. He did exactly that in racing to a personal record of 8 minutes 21.47 seconds, bettering his former career best by more than five seconds. The 2003 U.S. Junior 5,00m champion and 2007 Big 12 Conference steeple champ, Nelson was a standout at Taft Union HS in California, where he graduated with school records in the 3,200-meter (8:54), the mile (4:15) and the 3,000-meter (9:35). As a high school senior he finished third at the FootLocker Regional meet before a ninth-place finish at Nationals. Following his prep campaign he finished third and earned a bid on the national team at the 2002 USA Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Wash. That March he finished 33rd (the second American) in the 8 km men’s junior race at the World Championships in Dublin, Ireland.
9th in opening round at Olympic Games (8:36.66)…runner-up at Olympic
Trials (8:21.47PR)…runner-up at NCAA Outdoor Champs (8:28.85)…ranked #2 in U.S.
by T&FN…best of 8:21.47.
2007: Big 12 Steeplechase champ (8:47.89)…4th at NCAA Outdoors (8:33.33)…4th in opening round at USA Outdoors (8:42.23)…bests of 8:33.33 & 13:58.91.
2006: Big 12 Outdoor 5,000m champion (13:54.70)…10th at NCAA Outdoors (14:13.84)…best of 13:54.70i
2005: Bests of 8:46.36 & 14:09.41.
2004: Injured, redshirt year…best of 14:07.53.
2003: 7th at NCAA Outdoors (13:58.91)…2003 USA Junior 5,000m champ (14:21.46)…3rd at Big 12 Outdoor Champs…best of 13:58.91.