Allie Ostrander grabbed a spot in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase finals Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Trials for track and field in Eugene, Oregon.
Ostrander finished sixth in her heat to advance to Thursday’s 14-woman finals at Hayward Field. She’s scheduled to run the 10,000 meters two days later.
This is the second straight appearance at the Olympic Trials for Ostrander, 24. In 2016, the Kenai Central graduate placed eighth in the 5,000 meters.
In the months leading up to this year’s meet, Ostrander contended with injuries -- in May, she ran her first race in more than a year -- and an eating disorder that she said led to a “partial hospitalization.”
On Sunday, she trailed the lead pack by several seconds but was fast enough to continue her bid for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team that will compete in Tokyo later this summer.
The top five finishers in each of two steeplechase heats automatically moved into the finals, as did the four fastest women not in the top five. Among that latter group, Ostrander led the way with a time of 9 minutes, 35.56 seconds.
Grayson Murphy of Utah won Ostrander’s heat in 9:25.37. Emma Coburn of Colorado won the other heat in 9:21.32.
The top three finishers in Thursday’s finals will qualify for the Olympic team -- provided they have met the Olympic qualifying standard of 9:30.00. Ostrander is a three-time NCAA steeplechase champion whose personal-best is 9:30.85, recorded at the 2019 World Championships.
She’s one of two Alaskans competing at the Olympic Trials. On Monday, Isaac Updike of Ketchikan will run in the men’s steeplechase preliminaries.