Allie Ostrander ran a personal best in the steeplechase Thursday night, but it wasn’t enough to send the Kenai Peninsula runner to the Tokyo Olympics.
Ostrander, 24, placed eighth in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Trials for track and field in Eugene, Oregon. The top three finishers will represent the United States at the upcoming Summer Olympics.
Ostrander gets another chance to qualify for Team USA on Saturday, when she is scheduled to race the 10,000 meters at Hayward Field. The steeplechase, however, was considered her best path to Tokyo.
A professional runner for Brooks Beasts based in Seattle, Ostrander sliced nearly four seconds off her previous best by posting a time of 9 minutes, 26.96 seconds. She entered the meet with a personal-record 9:30.85, set at the 2019 World Championships.
She was one of six runners in Thursday’s field of 14 who ran personal records.
Ostrander, who placed sixth in her semifinal heat earlier in the week, didn’t have an ideal lead-up to the trials: She is coming off an injury and has been in treatment for an eating disorder.
Although she was never in contention Thursday, she finished impressively by running the fourth-fastest time on the bell lap, a 1:11.87. The only people faster on the final lap were the three Olympic qualifiers — Emma Coburn (1:08.87 en route to a winning time of 9:09), Courtney Frerichs (1:10.80 en route to a 9:11.79) and Val Constien (1:11.14 en route to a 9:18.34).
Ostrander, who went pro after winning three straight NCAA steeplechase championships for Boise State, is competing in her second Olympic Trials. In 2016, she also finished eighth in the finals.
She’s one of two Alaskans competing for an Olympic berth at the meet. Ketchikan’s Isaac Updike will be among the top seeds Friday in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase after winning his heat earlier this week.