Ostrander crushes it in steeplechase qualifying race at NCAAs
The defending national champion in the event clocked a time of 9:45.99 to win her heat by almost four seconds and advance to Saturday’s finals in Eugene, Oregon.
The scary thing is the Alaskan believes she can run faster.
“I felt like my hurdling was not particularly good today,” she told the Idaho Statesman. “I kept stuttering before the hurdles, and I almost tripped on one water jump, so I think I got that out of my system for finals. It was just because I was nervous.”
Ostrander, of Kenai High fame, owns a PR of 9:38.57 in the steeplechase.
She took the lead two laps in and never looked back, quickly putting significant distance between herself and the rest of the field.
“I thought that it went pretty well,” Ostrander said. “Pacing was solid and I was able to string out the pack so it wasn’t tight at the end, but I felt like my hurdling wasn’t super good today. I kept stuttering before the hurdles and almost tripped on one of the water jumps, so I think I got that out of my system before finals.”
Nerves played a factor; yes, even for an All-American like Ostrander.
“I’m actually usually more nervous for prelims than I am finals just because in a final there isn’t much to think about. You just go race your hardest,” she said. “But in a prelim there’s a little bit more strategy, and it’s just nerve-wracking because if something goes wrong you don’t even get the chance to race the final.”