Soldotna’s Allie Ostrander won the women’s six-kilometer race Friday at the NCAA Division I West Region cross-country meet at Jefferson Golf Course in Seattle.
The Boise State freshman completed the course in 20 minutes, 10.9 seconds, to come in clear of runner-up Waverly Neer of Oregon by about 21 seconds.
The race featured steady rains and howling winds, but that didn’t faze the native Alaskan who has six Mount Marathon junior girls titles and ran the second-fastest women’s time in history in her senior debut last summer.
“It felt really good,” Ostrander said in a released statement. “It was a fun race, kind of adventurous out there with it being muddy and slick, but it was fun and it made it all the better that we had a good team race.”
The Broncos women scored 80 points in the meet to finish behind the 79 of champion Oregon. The Boise State women qualified for nationals as a team for just the second time, and Saturday the Boise State men also were announced as at-large entrants into nationals. It’s also the second nationals trip for the men, and the first time both Broncos teams made nationals.
Also for the Boise State women, freshman Brenna Peloquin was fourth and sophomore Minttu Hukka was fifth.
“The women continue to impress,” Boise State head coach Corey Ihmels said in a released statement. “I thought our top three pretty much controlled the race.
“Any time you automatically qualify to the national meet it’s exciting, but to lose by a point to a very good Oregon team is a little disappointing, but exciting as well because we’ll get another chance to go at it next week.”
Ostrander was in a lead pack four kilometers into the race, but by the five-kilometer mark she had put 10 seconds on the rest of the field.
The 2015 Kenai Central graduate became the second Boise State athlete to win an NCAA West Region title, joining Emma Bates in 2013.
Ostrander, the three-time Class 4A cross-country champ and 4A record holder in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters in Alaska, has now won five of her six races at the collegiate level. She also found time to slip over to North Wales in mid-September for a victory in the junior women’s race in the World Mountain Running Championships.
Her first cross-country season will culminate with NCAA Division I Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday. The women’s race starts at 8 a.m. AST and will be broadcast on NCAA.com.
Taylor Ostrander helps Willamette defend West Region Crown
Kenai Central graduate Taylor Ostrander helped Willamette University defend its NCAA Division III West Regional championship on Saturday in Claremont, California.
Ostrander, a senior at Willamette, ran 21:50.84 on the six-kilometer course for third place and All-West Region honors.
Willamette got an automatic berth to the 2015 NCAA Division III National Chamionships on Saturday in Winneconne, Wisconsin.
The Bobcats women scored 64 points Saturday, while runner-up Claremont-Mudd-Scripps had 79. Willamette now has seven NCAA West Regional crowns.