Coburn set a personal, American, and Championship record of 9:02.58, breaking her previous best by over 5 seconds.
Frerichs' 9:03.77 broke her own best by an astounding 15.32 seconds. She came in with a best of 9:19.09 and left as #7 on the all-time world list, with Coburn ahead of her at #6.
In a dramatic and electrifying final lap, Coburn and Frerichs sprinted away from the Kenyan and Bahraini athletes at precisely the moment it might have been expected that the reverse would happen.
As they sprinted off the last water jump, Coburn broke away for the win while Frerichs sprinted away from Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi for silver.
In a historic race whose implications will reverberate for years to come, Coburn and Frerichs rewrote expectations for US women in the steeplechase.
With Evan Jager's bronze, the US won half of the steeple medals here and recorded a nifty tally of gold, silver, and bronze.
Frerichs summarized it best when she asked - several times - "Is this really happening?"