2015 Kenai Central graduate Allie Ostrander showed the nation that she can beat the best by winning and setting a course record Friday at one of the biggest collegiate cross-country races of the season.
Ostrander topped the field of 246 with a new six-kilometer course record time of 19 minutes, 19.5 seconds, at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on the Thomas Zimmer Championship course in Madison, Wisconsin.
The meet is billed as one of the most competitive of the year. The course record that Ostrander broke by 12 seconds belonged to seven-time NCAA champion Abbey D’Agostino.
“It feels awesome,” Ostrander said in a statement released by Boise State. “I didn’t expect this at all. I’m just super happy to have run a solid race.”
The Boise State freshman, who has now won two of her three college races, used a steady pace to slowly work her way through the top 10, going from seventh place at the 2K mark to sitting in third place behind seniors Molly Seidel of Notre Dame and Dominique Scott of Arkansas at the 4K mark.
At 400 meters left, Scott dropped off the pace, leaving Ostrander to duel with Seidel, the 2015 NCAA 10,000-meter outdoor track and field champion.
At the finish, Ostrander finally pulled out a gap to beat Seidel by 2.9 seconds. Scott finished third in 19:32.5.
“It was crazy, really an unreal experience,” Ostrander said of battling against two seniors for the win. “I viewed them as the favorites, it’s just so exciting. I have always looked up to them, and I was fortunate to get the win.”
With the victory, Ostrander became just the second freshman ever to win the Wisconsin Invite, joining Cal Poly frosh Laura Hollander in 2012.
“Fantastic,” Boise State head coach Corey Ihmels said. “To come out here and break the course record, it’s just out of this world. She was so fast at the end, and looked great doing it.”
Ostrander also helped the Broncos women’s team to claim sixth in the team standings among 36 teams. The Boise State women had finished 17th at the same meet in 2014.
Fellow Boise State freshman Brenna Peloquin was the next-highest Broncos runner in 27th (20:17.4), sophomore Minttu Hukka finished 45th (20:28.6) and junior Anna Holdiman took 83rd (20:50.5) to round out the 100 Broncos finishers. New Mexico won the team title by placing five runners in the top 10.
Ostrander and the Broncos next compete at the Mountain West Championships on Oct. 30 in Reno, Nevada.
Also in Wisconsin this weekend, Taylor Ostrander, Allie’s sister and a senior in college, took ninth for Willamette University at the AAE Invitational at the Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne. Division III Willamette took second at the meet, which was held on the course that will host the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on Nov. 21.