Evan Jager is soon heading home.
The Algonquin native recently placed sixth place at the London Olympics in the 3,000-meter steeplechase — a race that he had only run a handful of times before making it to the Olympics.
So, the big question is, what's next for Evan? Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Patch reached out to Jager to find out how he felt about his first Olympic appearance and if he will be aiming to return to the Olympics in 2016.
Note: Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Patch received the following responses in mid-August from Jager and Jager's agent, Tom Ratcliffe.
Q&A With Evan Jager
Were you happy with finishing 6th in the world? How did you feel at that moment?
At the moment I finished the race I was not happy with the outcome. I came into the race with high hopes that I could possibly medal and when you start thinking like you have a chance to medal on such a grand stage like the Olympics you have to convince yourself that you can do it. So, going into the race I convinced myself that I could medal and when I didn't I was pretty upset.
Did you run the best race you could have run in the finals, or do you think you should have taken a different approach to the race?
With the way that the race played out I think I did the best job I could have. Running off of a slow pace I put myself in the perfect position to react to a hard move at the end of the race. I ran as hard as I could the last three laps but I am just not the same level of athlete that those guys are, yet. I think the only thing I could have done differently would have been to push from further out than we did, but I don't know if that would have done anything to help me finish higher.
How were attending the Olympics in general?
Attending the Olympics was incredible. It was an awesome experience being around so many elite athletes and being treated like a king. I think that in the end, my favorite part of the whole experience was meeting so many of my US teammates, athletes from different countries and creating new friendships with those people. I really look forward to the years to come and to be able to build upon those new relationships.
Will you be returning home to Algonquin any time soon? What will you do when you're back?
I have a few more races this summer before I get the opportunity to go back to Algonquin but I plan on going back there as soon as the racing is over. I honestly cannot wait to go back home. I am very excited to go back home so I can see and thank so many of the people from back home that have supported me throughout this entire season. There are so many people from back home that have been following my season and I want to put together a huge party to thank everyone for all of their support. After we do that, I am looking forward to spending the rest of my time back home hanging out with my closest group of friends and doing absolutely nothing that has to deal with running for a couple weeks.
Where does this leave you? Are you going to continue running in Oregon, or will you return back to Wisconsin for college, or will you return to Algonquin? Or none of these things?
I am going back to Oregon to start training for Rio 2016. I have absolutely no intentions of changing anything over the next few years.
Do you think you will be in the next Olympics? What event?
I have every intention of doing everything I can in order to make the 2016 Olympic team but obviously nothing in life is guaranteed. I think that if everything goes according to plan I will continue to progress and build fitness and be in a very good position to make the Olympic team and yes, that would be in the Steeple.
What are your future goals?
My goals within these next 4 years, so within this next Olympic cycle are going to be to break 8:00 in the steeple, break 13:00 in the 5k, and to make the next 2 World Championship teams and the Olympic team.
In addition, Evan's agent, Tom Ratcliffe, answered some questions from Patch regarding Evan's future:
What is the next step for Evan? (will he return to Portland to train more? Will he return to college?).
Evan will return to Algonquin for a visit and then back to Portland and Portland State.
Will he compete in other races from here? Where? When?
He's finished the season, but he did run a very strong 3000m in the Stockholm Diamond League meet on Aug. 17.
Are the next Olympics a possibility for Evan? Would he still be in the same event?
Yes, absolutely ... He has really only just started his international career.
How did you feel with Evan's 6th place finish in the finals? Were you happy with that?
In my opinion, it was a fantastic result, but of course Evan was a bit disappointed as he was very close to the medals. I do think he has lots of potential and should be in a better position at the 2013 and 2015 world championships and in Rio in 2016.