Under stiflingly hot temperatures in Austin, Texas, Allie Ostrander never wilted as she added a new chapter to the NCAA history books.
Ostrander, a Boise State redshirt junior, became the first female athlete to win three consecutive Div. I track and field 3,000-meter steeplechase titles with a convincing victory Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas Austin campus. Ostrander won in a personal best time of 9 minutes, 37.73 seconds, beating runner-up Charlotte Prouse of New Mexico by 6.77 seconds. Ostrander’s closest competition entering the meet, New Mexico’s Adva Cohen, finished fourth in 9:46.36.
The temperature at race time was reported to be a sweltering 98 degrees, making for a rough day for all athletes but Ostrander in particular, as the 2015 Kenai Central grad had to make a quick turnaround to race in the women’s 5,000-meter final, which began 90 minutes after the steeplechase final. Ostrander finished 16th in the 5,000.
“I feel so hot right now, and not in the attractive way,” Ostrander said in an ESPN interview after the race.
The win left Ostrander as the first Boise State athlete to win more than two national titles over a career, and the 15th athlete ever at the Div. I level to win three straight national crowns in one event. In the steeplechase in particular, Ostrander joins Colorado’s Jenny Barringer as the only three-time champs, although Barringer won her titles nonconsecutively (2006, 2008 and 2009).
The win was the third outdoor track and field championship for Ostrander, all in the steeplechase, and gave her All-American status for the 12th time in her illustrious career.
Ostrander started the 7.5-lap race running midpack, but made her move with the leaders and ultimately took the lead with just under three laps to go and quickly pulled away.
“This one definitely feels special,” she said in a Boise State press release. “Coming out of regionals, it was the fastest West Regional ever, in prelims yesterday it felt like it was probably the fastest ever. There are so many competitive ladies this year, and I also had the added pressure of two past titles, so to be able to pull this one off was something really special.”