Get ready, worlds. Allie Ostrander is coming.
The Kenai runner enjoyed a milestone moment Sunday when she grabbed a spot on Team USA for September’s world championships in Doha, Qatar.
Ostrander, 22, clinched a spot on the team by finishing fourth in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase Sunday at the U.S. Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I’ve never been so happy to hold a tiny flag,” Ostrander posted on Instagram with a post-race photo showing her waving a small American flag. “Doha here I come!!”
Ostrander, 22, will be part of a strong U.S. steeplechase team that includes the gold and silver medalists from the 2017 world championships — Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs, respectively.
Coburn beat Frerichs by one second Sunday at Drake Stadium to capture her eighth national championship. She finished in 9 minutes, 25.68 seconds.
Frerichs was second (9:26.61), Colleen Quigley was third (9:30.97) and Ostrander was fourth (9:38.52).
It was a gutty mental performance by Ostrander, who fell off the lead pace in the sixth lap. One lap later she was all alone as she headed into the final 400 meters — Quigley was about five seconds ahead of her and fifth-place Marisa Howard (9:51.37) was 10 seconds behind.
The United States was assured of three spots in the women’s steeplechase at the world championships, but because Coburn received an automatic berth as the reigning world champion, a fourth spot was available.
Taking advantage was Ostrander, who met the world-championship qualifying standard of 9:40.0 last month at the Prefontaine Classic with a personal-best time of 9:31.44 and met it again on Sunday.
Ostrander’s big day capped first week in her new job as a sponsored athlete. She won her third straight NCAA steeplechase championship for Boise State last month and decided to go pro shortly thereafter and sign a contract with Brooks Running.