Ostrander trades undefeated status for PR in the steeplechase

Goodbye, winning streak. Hello, personal best.

Three-time NCAA steeplechase champion Allie Ostrander of Kenai traded her undefeated status in her signature event for the fastest time of her career Sunday at the Prefontaine Classic in Palo Alto, California.

Racing against the best in the world, Ostrander shaved more than six seconds off her personal-best time in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Ostrander posted a time 9 minutes, 31.44 seconds to place 13th in a field that included the 10 top-ranked steeplechasers in the world, including world-record holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya and reigning world champion Emma Coburn of the United States.

The effort blew away Ostrander’s previous-best time of 9:37.73, registered at the NCAA national championships earlier this month.

According to U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, the time puts her in seventh place on its list of fastest collegiate steeplechasers.

Chepkoech dominated the race in 8:55.58 to set a meet record and a Stanford University facility record. She ran alone for much of the race and finished well off her world-record time of 8:44.32.


Coburn finished second in 9:04.90 and led a group of three Americans in the top seven. Courtney Frerichs was fifth (9:09:74) and Colleen Quigley (9:11.41) was seventh.

Ostrander, who ranked 34th in the world going into the Diamond League race, fell off the pace early when the lead pack ran a swift first lap. The race marked her first test against the world’s best steeplechasers.

She finished strong with a final-lap time of 1:13.57, the seventh-best among 16 finishers (Chepkoech did the last lap in 1:09.75 and Coburn did it in 1:09.67).

A couple of days before Sunday’s prestigious meet, Ostrander garnered first-team academic All-America recognition for the second year in a row. A redshirt junior at Boise State, she graduated in May with a degree in kinesiology and a 4.00 grade-point average.

Beth Bragg

Beth Bragg wrote about sports and other topics for the ADN for more than 35 years, much of it as sports editor. She retired in October 2021. She's contributing coverage of Alaskans involved in the 2022 Winter Olympics.