It was a Kenyan Olympic runner, whose name I can't remember, who said, "I do not enjoy running steeplechase, but they do give medals for it, don't they?"
Which would explain why a nice young woman like Emma Coburn would jump over water and fences. Because she can get medals for it.
And she has gotten medals. A middle-distance track runner from Colorado, Emma Coburn has made the 3000-meter steeplechase her specialty, having won the event at the 2014 Continental Cup in Marrakesh, Morocco.
When she won the bronze medal in the same event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she set an American record of 9:07.63.
Emma Coburn is also a five-time U.S. national champion in the steeplechase. She might still pull off a surprise at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. :-)