2015 Kenai Central graduate Allie Ostrander announced her arrival on the global stage by seizing victory Saturday in the junior women’s race at the World Mountain Running Junior Championships in Snowdonia, North Wales.
The 18-year-old distance phenom became only the second United States junior to win at the world championships, following Mandy Ortiz’s win in 2013.
Ostrander bested a world-class field of 43 junior women to claim victory in 19 minutes, 44 seconds, beating Michaela Stranska of the Czech Republic by 38 seconds. Elsa Racasan of France finished third in 20:31.
American teammate Lily Tomasula Martin finished 30th, over three minutes behind Ostrander.
The accomplishment came barely a week after Ostrander won her collegiate cross-country debut as a freshman for Boise State University in San Francisco.
Saturday’s 4.7-kilometer (2.92-mile) mountain course featured 820 feet in elevation change, starting with a steep incline up a forested trail, which eventually crested and dropped down a sharp downhill run. On the initial climb, Ostrander averaged a 9:40 per mile pace, but on the downhill plunge, that dropped to a 4:37 per mile pace, which allowed her to pull away from the field.
In the junior boys race, Kodiak graduate Levi Thomet gave Alaska another podium result with a second-place finish, the first medal performance ever for an American boy. Thomet finished the junior boys 8.9K course in 35:50, almost two minutes behind race winner Ferhat Bozkurt of Turkey, who won in 33:56. Bozkurt’s Turkish teammate Mustafa Geksel took third place, just three seconds behind Thomet.