The run at a historic three-peat for Boise State’s Allie Ostrander began Thursday night with a relatively easy preliminary win at the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas.
Ostrander won a semifinal heat in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase Thursday to qualify for Saturday’s championship final, running a time of 9 minutes, 44.32 seconds, to finish as the top seeded athlete in the event. Ostrander’s personal best in the event is 9:38.57.
Ostrander, a redshirt junior for the Broncos, had to finish top five in order to earn an automatic spot in Saturday’s final. The 2015 Kenai Central grad is looking to become the first women to win three straight national steeplechase crowns, and will go for the record at 2:54 p.m. (AKDT) on a nationally-televised broadcast on ESPN2.
Running with the lead pack for the first 1,200 meters, Ostrander took the lead and began to steadily put a gap on the field, making it to the finish line over three seconds clear of second place, setting a facility record in the process at Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas Austin.
“The first race of NCAA’s is always kind of nerve-wracking,” Ostrander said in a Boise State press release. “It was nice to get through the prelims cleanly and focus my attention on the final.”
Ostrander will also attempt the steeple and 5,000-meter double for a third straight year. The women’s 5,000 final is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. (AKDT), only 90 minutes after the steeplechase final. Ostrander has never won the 5,000 title but has finishes of fourth and eighth in each of the last two years.