Qualifying for the 3,000-meter steeplechase finals at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Giving a shout-out to her sister, cousins and the Kenai Peninsula Borough middle school track and field championships.
All in a day’s work for Soldotna’s Allie Ostrander.
Ostrander, a redshirt freshman at Boise State, ran 9 minutes, 50.55 seconds, to set a new personal record and take third in the second qualifying heat.
This was only the third time she did the steeplechase, and afterward reporters wanted to know how she got so good so fast.
“I don’t mean to brag, but I was third place in the Kenai Peninsula Borough middle school championships 100-meter hurdles race when I was in eighth grade, so it’s kind of a big deal,” Ostrander said, drawing laughs from the assembled press corps. “I’m surprised you guys didn’t know that already.”
Ostrander also found time to get family members into the interview, referencing sister, Taylor, and University of Alaska Anchorage track athletes Riley and Mariah Burroughs.
“It was just something new and exciting to try, given the last year I struggled with injuries,” Ostrander said. “I kind of wanted something that maybe took a little pressure off and put more fun into the sport.
“In addition to that, it’s kind of a family tradition now. My sister and both of my cousins do it, so I had to join the club.”
Ostrander needed to finish in the top five to make the final, which happens at 2:54 p.m. ADT Saturday.
“She did a nice job of following the plan and getting through to the next round,” Boise State head coach Corey Ihmels said. “She looked really good out there, so we’re excited for Saturday.”
The more experience Ostrander gets in the steeplechase, the better she feels.
“It’s one of those races you can practice and practice for, but nothing can quite emulate the race perfectly, so it’s really important to get that sort of experience,” she said.
And with another dose of experience, she is looking forward to the final.
“I think that there are a lot of girls that have run fast times toward the end of the season,” she said. “At the beginning of the season, it kind of looked like it was going to be a weak steeple year but after seeing the prelims it looks like everyone has a lot to five for the final and I’m excited to duke it out.”
After the steeplechase, Ostrander will have less than two hours to recover before competing in the 5,000-meter final at 4:25 p.m. She confirmed Thursday that she will attempt that double, becoming the second women’s athlete to double in the two events since the championships switched to an alternating gender schedule in 2015.