EUGENE, Ore. — Boise State sophomore Allie Ostrander successfully defended her 3,000-meter steeplechase title Saturday evening at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field, cruising to the victory in a time of 9:39.28.
The redshirt sophomore becomes just the second back-to-back women’s steeplechase champion in NCAA history, joining the likes of Jenny Barringer (Simpson), who did it running for Colorado in 2008 and 2009.
Because Barringer went back-to-back as a junior and a senior, Ostrander becomes the first to accomplish the feat in underclass seasons, as she did it in her redshirt freshman and redshirt sophomore seasons.
“I think year one was a bit more of a surprise, but winning again means a lot to me,” Ostrander said after the race. “To be able to maintain my spot at the top is really special.”
Ostrander took the lead in the early stages of the race and never gave it up. The Kenai, Alaska, native gradually built a lead that was insurmountable for her competitors, eventually finishing ahead of the second-place finisher by more than six seconds.
“It looked very under control and relaxed,” Boise State head coach Corey Ihmels said of Ostrander. “She wasn’t pressured at any point and she just kind of clicked along, and the end result was the same (as last season). But this was definitely more impressive than what we saw last year.”
After feeling like she could have hurdled better in the semifinal, Ostrander excelled over the barriers and handled the water jumps well.
“I think my hurdling and water jumps were a lot better in the final,” Ostrander remarked. “I think it was a lot of nerves in the preliminary and I felt a lot smoother today.”
Ostrander once again attempted the same double as last season and competed in the 5,000 meters about 80 minutes after winning the steeplechase.
Battling through what was a slow pace for the first four kilometers that ultimately led to it being a kicker’s race, Ostrander did well to give it everything she had to take eighth, giving her First-Team All-America honors in the event.
Southern California won the meet-ending 1,600-meter relay to beat Georgia by a point for the women’s team title.
Kendall Ellis anchored the Trojans to victory, rallying to edge Purdue’s Jahneya Mitchell at the finish line. USC won in 3 minutes, 27.06 seconds, and Purdue finished in 3:27.13.