Emma Coburn of the United States, gold, celebrates after the Women's 3000 metres Steeplechase final during day eight of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 11, 2017 in London, United Kingdom.
Coburn, who lives in Boulder, led a stunning one-two sweep for the Americans.
Frerichs, who trains with Portland's Bowerman Track Club, simply stayed on Coburn's hip for the duration of the race, and it paid off as she still had enough kick left to hold off Kenya's Hyvin Kiyeng Jepkemoi, who took the bronze.
The run was historic.
Both women's times were well under the American national record, set by Coburn at the Olympics previous year.
These were the fourth and fifth medals for the USA distance runners at the championships in London, including a bronze from Amy Cragg in the marathon, a bronze from Evan Jager in the men's steeplechase and a silver from Jenny Simpson in the 1,500.
"I am very happy to win the bronze medal".
World record holder Ruth Jebet led the race for the first two kilometers, which saw Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech accidentally skip a water barrier and then a fall that took down some other competitors.
The 26-year-old made an inexcusable mistake as she ran past the first water jump without actually leaping over the hurdle. However, it was all about Coburn and Frerichs; the former put herself as sixth on the all-time list for the event in terms of time, with the latter just one spot behind in seventh.
"What a race to be part of", said Coburn. "I think Courtney feels the same way".
"My coach [Jerry Schumacher] had told me to just go for it", Frerichs said. Wow, I am shocked.
Coburn and Frerichs raced near the front the entire way. She crossed in 9:03.77, followed by Jepkemoi at 9:04.22. "I kept thinking to myself, 'Did this just really happen?"'
"I thought in a flawless day, I could sneak in for a medal, and Joe [her coach] kept telling me anything was possible, and kept reminding me of the hard workouts I've done; That I've been really healthy this year, and running well and training well", she said.