Runners in the first prelim of the women's 3000-meter steeplechase cast shadows at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Eugene, Ore., at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Ostrander advances to steeplechase final at Olympic trials

Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central, finished fifth in her 3,000-meter steeplechase heat race Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials to qualify for Thursday’s final.

There were two steeplechase heat races. The top five in each heat, plus the next four fastest runners, advanced to the final.

Ostrander raced in the first heat. She was in 13th place after the first lap, but moved up to sixth place by the end of the fourth lap in the eight-lap race.

Ostrander’s heat was won by Grayson Murphy in 9 minutes, 25.37 seconds. Ostrander finished at 9:35.56 and was the fastest of the four additional qualifiers based on time.

Thursday, the top three in the final advance to the Tokyo Olympics, assuming they have hit the Olympic qualifying standard of 9:30.00. Seven athletes raced under that standard Sunday, so the standard should not play a factor. Emma Coburn won the second heat and posted the fastest time of the day at 9:21.32.

Ostrander’s personal record in the steeplechase is 9:30.85, set in September 2019 at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. Ostrander is a three-time NCAA Division I champion in the steeplechase.

The women’s steeplechase final will happen Thursday at 7:47 p.m. AKDT. Ostrander also is scheduled to race in the 10,000-meter final Saturday at 5:44 p.m. AKDT.

Ostrander also competed at the Olympic trials in 2016, placing eighth in the 5,000.

June 11, Ostrander posted on her YouTube channel and Instagram that she was seeking treatment for an eating disorder. Ostrander said she was partially hospitalized for the treatment, and that the treatment was her priority over the Olympic trials.

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