Ostrander punches spot in Olympic trials final

  • By Staff Report
  • Friday, July 8, 2016 12:13am
  • Sports

Allie Ostrander toed the starting line Thursday at venerated Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene with a host of the nation’s top middle distance runners and once again put on a show that dazzled the mind and proved just how much raw talent she possesses.

The 19-year-old Boise State freshman finished fourth in her heat of the women’s 5,000 meter preliminaries at the United States Track and Field Olympic Team Trials to gain a spot in Sunday’s final, overcoming injury to race for the first time in nearly four months and surpassing perhaps even her own expectations to stay alive for the summer Olympic games in Brazil.

Her time of 15 minutes, 27.13 seconds, was not only fast enough to place fourth in the second heat, but was also fourth-quickest overall among the 23 runners that made up the two heats. Ostrander competed in the faster heat, as 2012 Olympian Molly Huddle won with a time of 15:26.33. Kim Conley won the first heat with a time of 15:40.04.

The top three finishers in Sunday’s final will become the three athletes to represent the United States at the Rio Olympics in August.

After the race, Ostrander posted on her Twitter account her reaction to the feat, writing, “5 weeks ago I was run-walking. Today I qualified to the Olympic trials finals.”

As the only collegiate runner in the field, Ostrander was already facing long odds. Throw in the fact that she spent most of the time since her tibial stress fracture injury in March on the mend, and Thursday’s performance only adds to the growing legend that the 2015 Kenai Central graduate has already established.

Ostrander ran an Olympic qualifying time of 15:21.85 in February in her first attempt at the 5,000-meter distance on a track, but on March 11 had to step off the track midway through her race at the Division I Indoor Track and Field championships in Birmingham, Alabama, with leg pain.

It was only discovered later that Ostrander had suffered a tibial stress fracture, leaving her unable to run for months. Ostrander had to resort to other cross-training methods to keep up her fitness, including using an underwater treadmill.

It was not until five weeks ago that Ostrander was back to full-time running again.

With the trials being held at Oregon University, the very school that was among the recruiting contenders for her, Ostrander executed a brilliant race. She settled in near the back of the back through the first five minutes of the race, then slowly began picking off runners. She was running 10th of 12 racers through the 3,000-meter mark, but moved up to sixth place with three laps to go, when the top two of Huddle and Katie Mackey began breaking away.

With two laps to go, Huddle was the clear leader with about a 10-meter breakaway, while Ostrander mixed it up in the chasing pack for second place.

At the sound of the bell, signifying the final lap, Ostrander had moved into fourth, which she maintained for the final lap, kicking with a blistering time of 1:05 on the last lap.

The final on Sunday is scheduled for a 3:28 p.m. Alaska start time. The race will be streamed live on nbcolympics.com, and will also be a part of NBC’s Olympic television coverage.

More in Sports

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Owen Hanson and Anchorage Wolverines defenseman Trent Powell battle for the puck Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Wolverines complete sweep of Brown Bears

One of the main purposes of the Kenai River Brown Bears program… Continue reading

tease
Soldotna wrestling nabs Grizzly Shakedown title

The Soldotna girls and boys wrestling teams cruised to the Grace Grizzly… Continue reading

tease
Soldotna hockey topples Kodiak; Juneau tops Kenai

The Soldotna hockey team defeated Kodiak 10-0 in Railbelt Conference action Saturday… Continue reading

tease
Westin scores twice late to push Wolverines past Bears

Aiden Westin of the Anchorage Wolverines scored two goals in the final… Continue reading

Soldotna celebrates a first-period goal by Jace Applehans (far right) on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Prep hockey: SoHi tops Kodiak

The Soldotna hockey team opened Railbelt Conference play with a 9-0 victory… Continue reading

Members of Kenai Central High School Esports gather around coach Shane Lopez before their League of Legends match Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Esports playoffs: Kenai advances through 16-team bracket

High school esports playoffs started in Alaska for the state’s top 16… Continue reading

The Kenai River Brown Bears and Anchorage Wolverines battle for the puck Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Bears close homestand by hosting Wolverines

The Kenai River Brown Bears renew their rivalry with the Anchorage Wolverines… Continue reading

Forests surrounding the Kenai River. (Photo by Lisa Hupp/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Expect the unexpected

Climate change is changing conservation. We used to set goals and objectives… Continue reading

Downtown Seward on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Something about Seward

There’s something magical about Seward. It’s more than the quaintness of a… Continue reading

Most Read