Allie Ostrander's fabulous freshman season continued this weekend with a victory at the NCAA West Region cross country championships.
Ostrander, a Soldotna runner in her first season at Boise State, breezed past a competitive field Friday in Seattle to win the women's 6-kilometer race by more than 20 seconds.
Ostrander shrugged off steady rain and strong winds at Jefferson Park Golf Course to take the win in 20 minutes, 10.9 seconds. In second place in 20:32.2 was Oregon senior Waverly Neer, an All-American for the Ducks last season in track.
Ostrander led a group of three Boise State runners in the top five. The Broncos placed second in the team standings, one point behind Oregon, to qualify for next Saturday's NCAA Division I championships.
"It felt really good," Ostrander said in a release from Boise State. "It was a fun race, kind of adventurous out there with it being muddy and slick, but it was fun and it made it all the better that we had a good team race."
Ostrander has won four of her five races this season and placed second in the other.
Her success comes after a record-setting high school career at Kenai Central, where she won three straight state cross-country titles and in two consecutive seasons set state records on the track in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.
She made her name as a youngster by winning six straight Mount Marathon junior girls titles. In her final season as a junior, she beat the boys too. In her first season in the senior division, she placed second – behind a professional mountain runner from Sweden -- in a time that eclipsed Nancy Pease's long-standing record.
Ostrander will be among the favorites at the national championships Saturday in Louisville.
Also qualifying for the national championships was South graduate Aaron Fletcher, who runs for Brigham Young.
Fletcher placed 16th in the men's 10-K Friday at the Mountain Region championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was the No. 2 runner for BYU, which placed third in the men's team standings.