Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central, qualified Friday for the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
The Soldotna runner, the three-time defending champion in the NCAA steeplechase, was running in her first race after turning pro.
She had the second-fastest qualifying time out of two heats. Ostrander ran 9 minutes, 47.54 seconds, to finish second in her heat to Courtney Frerichs, a 2016 Olympian who ran 9:46.35.
The winner of the second heat was Emma Coburn, the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, in 9:51.43.
The point of qualifying is to make it to the final and not post a fast time. Frerich has a PR of 9:00.85, Coburn is at 9:02.58 and Ostrander has run 9:31.44.
In the finals, the field will race for three spots in the IAAF World Championships, which run from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6 in Qatar. Coburn already has a spot secured at the World Championships.
The final is at 3:09 p.m. ADT. NBCSN has coverage of the meet from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ADT.