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Alaska's Allie Ostrander gets gold, Thomet silver at World Mountain Running Championships

  • Author: Doyle Woody
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published September 19, 2015

Allie Ostrander, the fastest, most decorated female runner in state history, has already conquered Alaska and the nation.

On Saturday, she conquered the world.

Ostrander, 18, of Soldotna won the women's junior title at the 31st World Mountain Running Championship in Snowdonia, North Wales.

She became the second American to win the women's junior title. She stood atop the podium just one week after she won her debut cross-country race for Boise State and less than three months after she posted the fastest time ever by an Alaska woman in the iconic Mount Marathon race.

And she wasn't the only Alaskan who flourished Saturday in North Wales. Kodiak's Levi Thomet, 18, finished second in the junior men's race, the first podium finish by an American in the history of that event.

Ostrander and Thomet paced the Americans to silver medals in the team competition.

Ostrander clocked 19 minutes, 44 seconds, on a 2.92-mile course that featured 820 feet of elevation gain and descent. That earned her a margin of 39 seconds over runner-up Michaela Stranska of the Czech Republic and a 47-second cushion on bronze medalist Elsa Racasan of France.

While the junior women ran one loop of the course, the junior men ran two, and Thomet's time of 35:50 for 5.53 miles gained him the silver medal. He finished 1:54 behind Turkey's Ferhat Bozkurt and three seconds ahead of Turkey's Mustafa Goksel.

Ostrander and Thomet have shined in unison before. In May, both ran state records in the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters at Alaska high school track and field championships to close their prep careers. Ostrander literally lapped the field in the 3,200.

In October, Ostrander of Kenai Central High and Thomet of Kodiak High each won their third state cross-country running championship, and Ostrander went on to win the Nike Cross Nationals, one of two national championship races for high schoolers.

Ostrander last week won her cross-country debut for Boise State. Many of the nation's best college running programs offered her a scholarship, and Ostrander chose Boise State over Oregon. Thomet this summer said he would study in Germany for a year as part of a U.S. State Department-sponsored exchange program before attending Oregon.

Ostander was 12 when she first won the Mount Marathon girls junior race, beating girls as old as 17 on the climb halfway up the 3,022-foot peak in Seward and the rocketing descent back into town. At 17, she not only seized her sixth consecutive girls title at Mount Marathon but became the first girl to also beat all the boys in the mixed-gender junior race.

In July, in her senior women's debut at Mount Marathon – that race of three-plus miles goes to the top of summit and back down – she merely posted the second-fastest women's time in race history. Ostrander's 50:28 bettered Nancy Pease's 1990 record and placed her runner-up to Sweden's Emelie Forsberg, one of the world's best mountain runners for distances short and long. Forsberg, who won a 68-mile race in Catalonia on Saturday and captured the Skyrunner Ultra World Series, won Mount Marathon in a jaw-dropping 47:48.

The World Mountain Running Championships in 2003 were held on Mount Alyeska in Girdwood, marking the only time the competition has occurred in the U.S.

Reach Doyle Woody at dwoody@alaskadispatch.com and follow him on Twitter at @JaromirBlagr

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