After capturing her third straight Alaska state cross-country running championship in early October under picturesque conditions, Kenai Central senior Allie Ostrander had to face adverse weather conditions Saturday in Boise, Idaho.
Ironically, runners at the 2014 Nike Cross Northwest Regional Championship meet had to plod through 6 inches of snow that had appeared on the five-kilometer Eagle Island course.
“It was brutal,” described Teri Ostrander, Allie’s mother, who made the trip along with Allie’s father, Paul. “We got up early to check it out, and it was like running in sand.”
Due to the snowy conditions, times were sluggish across the board, but Ostrander managed a runner-up finish out of a field of 152 racers, in a time of 18 minutes, 59.5 seconds, almost four seconds behind race winner Ella Donaghu of Portland, Oregon.
The result qualified Ostrander for the Nike Cross Nationals, scheduled for Dec. 6 in Portland.
Ostrander said the course was supposed to be open to competitors Friday for previewing, but race organizers decided to close it after weather conditions worsened.
Saturday, most runners broke out the spikes for a exhausting 5K romp that was made more difficult due to the soft footing.
The meet also wasn’t the first time that Ostrander competed against Donaghu either. The pair raced at the George Fox Invitational in Brooks, Oregon, in 2013, when Ostrander led Donaghu in a 1-2 finish.
Lindsey Bradley of Richland, Washington, finished third, just 1.3 seconds behind Ostrander.
In the boys race, reigning state champion Levi Thomet of Kodiak also nabbed a second-place finish, with a time of 16:21.4, almost 27 seconds behind race winner Tanner Anderson of Spokane, Washington.