The return of Allie Ostrander lived up to all the hype, and then some.
Ostrander won the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase Friday afternoon in her first big race in nearly nine months at the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track and Angell Field in California, setting an NCAA season best as well.
The Boise State sophomore claimed the win in her steeplechase debut, posting the second-fastest women’s time in the event in Boise State history at 9 minutes, 55.61 seconds, and adding another chapter to the already burgeoning legacy of the 2015 Kenai Central graduate. The time puts her atop the current list of fastest NCAA times this year.
The steeplechase is a unique distance event that challenges runners to hurdling several beams and water pits along the course, and Ostrander’s entry in Friday’s race came as a bit of a surprise. Ostrander already had announced her presence on the collegiate cross-country scene as a freshman for Boise State in fall 2015, claiming All-American status en route to finishing second in the NCAA Division I National Championships.
But the steeplechase was something never attempted by her, although Ostrander’s older sister, Taylor, was a steeplechaser at Division-III Willamette (Oregon) University.
Friday’s race was the first big event Ostrander had run since finishing eighth at the U.S. Olympic Trials last July in Eugene, Oregon. Since then, the 5-foot phenom had to skip the college cross-country and indoor track seasons, redshirting both campaigns due to injury.
McCormick breaks UAA record in 800 meters
Soldotna’s Dani McCormick obliterated the former school record of another Soldotna athlete Saturday in the women’s 800 meters at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival in California, running a 2:07.75 that lopped almost three seconds off her previous record.
The time erased the old University of Alaska Anchorage women’s mark previously held by 2010 Skyview graduate Ivy O’Guinn. McCormick is a 2015 SoHi grad.
The time also provisionally qualified McCormick for the NCAA Division II outdoor track and field championships.