Nerves not a problem for Boise State’s Ostrander
Allie Ostrander might have some trouble shaking her new nickname, but the Boise State sophomore had no trouble shaking the competition in Thursday's 3,000-meter steeplechase preliminaries.
Dubbed the "Baby-faced Assassin" by ESPN commentators during the live broadcast, Ostrander won her heat of the steeplechase and posted the top qualifying time overall at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
"I'm actually usually more nervous for prelims than I am finals just because in a final there isn't much to think about. You just go race your hardest," Ostrander said. "But in a prelim there's a little bit more strategy, and it's just nerve-racking, because if something goes wrong, you don't even get the chance to race the final."
The defending national champion in the steeplechase dropped the fastest qualifying time in meet history with a run of 9 minutes, 45.96 seconds. Ostrander's time was almost 3 seconds faster than her nearest competitor, easily moving her into Saturday's final.
But Ostrander sees room for improvement.
"I felt like my hurdling was not particularly good," Ostrander said. "I kept stuttering before the hurdles, and I almost tripped on one water jump, so I think I got that out of my system for finals. It was just because I was nervous."
Ostrander also is set to run in the 5,000 final Saturday. The steeplechase final is scheduled for 4:54 p.m. Mountain time, followed by the 5,000 at 6:25 p.m. Live coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Boise High graduate and current Washington junior Emily Hamlin placed ninth in the same steeplechase heat as Ostrander. Hamlin's time of 10:14.71 was 19th overall.
Boise State sophomore Clare O'Brien collected second-team All-American accolades with her 12th-place showing in the 25-lap 10,000. O'Brien, a native of Australia, crossed the line in 33:34.18. Kansas junior Sharon Lokedi won the event in a meet-record time of 32:09.20, and the top six placers all ran faster than the previous record of 32:28.57.
Making her outdoor nationals debut, Boise State junior Alexis Fuller kept pace with the top runners in her heat of the 1,500 until the final 100 meters. Fuller managed to stay on her feet despite several entanglements with other runners in the tight pack, finishing seventh in her heat in 4:15.92 and 17th overall. She earned honorable mention All-American honors but did not advance to the final.
In the prelims of the 800, Boise State true freshman Kristie Schoffield was seventh (2:07.66) and junior Sadi Henderson was eighth (2:08.30) in the first heat. The two Broncos finished 21st and 22nd overall, respectively, for honorable mention All-American recognition.