Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central High School, ran the fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase of her life Thursday at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Oregon, but it was not enough to qualify for the Olympics.
Needing to finish in the top three to earn a spot in Tokyo, Ostrander was eighth in 9 minutes, 26.96 seconds. Ostrander’s previous best in the steeplechase was 9:30.85, set in September 2019 at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar.
In July 2019, Ostrander had qualified for worlds by finishing fourth in the steeplechase at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Ostrander ran 9:38.52 that day to qualify, but Thursday’s race was much faster.
Just as in 2019, the field was headed up by Emma Coburn, who qualified for her third Olympics and won her ninth national title by finishing in a meet record of 9:09.41. Coburn earned a bronze in the steeplechase in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Courtney Frerichs was second at 9:11.79 to earn her second straight berth in the Olympics, while Val Constien locked up the final berth to the Olympics with a 9:18.34. Of the six runners to finish behind Coburn and Frerichs, five — including Constien — ran personal bests.
In June 2019, Ostrander, then a redshirt junior at Boise State, became the first woman to win three straight NCAA outdoor steeplechase crowns with a then-PR of 9:37.73. Less than a month later, Ostrander turned pro and signed with the Brooks Beasts, the team for which she still runs.
In the month leading up to the trials, Ostrander was dealing with an injury. Then, June 11, Ostrander announced she was seeking treatment for an eating disorder.
Ostrander still has a path to the Olympics. She will compete in the 10,000-meter run Saturday at 9 a.m. AKDT.
Ostrander also competed at the trials in 2016, finishing eighth in the 5,000.