July 7, 2016
EUGENE, Ore. - Allie Ostrander made a splash in the 5,000m Thursday afternoon at the United States Track and Field (USATF) Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field, finishing in fourth place in the second heat of the first round to automatically punch her ticket to the final on Sunday. Ostrander's time of 15:27.13 was also the fourth-fastest time overall, firmly placing her in contention despite being the only collegian in the field.
Competing in her first race in four months, Ostrander answered the bell by running a smart, patient race that was capped off by a blistering 1:05 last lap to cement her position in the final. The 15:27.13 isn't far off her career-best time in the 5K (15:21.85) which she clocked in February during the indoor season.
Thanks to an honest pace, the beginning third of the race saw the pack string out and Ostrander settled in near the back. The lead runners eventually came back to the pack in the middle third, and Ostrander was content with her spot near the rail in roughly eighth place.
As the pace quickened, the Kenai, Alaska native began to make her moves and slowly worked her way up the pack. At the bell lap she was among a group of six runners who were chasing the eventual winner, Molly Huddle (15:26.33). Ostrander found another gear in the final 200 meters to safely cross the line within the automatic qualifying zone.
Ostrander will now take the next two days to rest and prepare for the 5,000m final on Sunday at 5:28 p.m. (MT), which will be broadcasted on NBC. The top three finishers from the final will make the United States Olympic Team and punch their tickets to Rio, Brazil.