Connecting you with Alaska athletes.

CROSS COUNTRY RUNNING

Tales From The Trails: Alaska’s Allie Ostrander raced smart, finished 30th overall, 2nd among Americans at World Cross-Country Championships in Serbia

by | Mar 30, 2024 | Cover Story, Cross Country Running, Running

Allie Ostrander (bottom row, second from left) represented Team USA at Saturday’s World Cross-Country Championships in Serbia.

In searing temperatures, along a muddy course that included a maze of hay bales, Soldotna’s Allie Ostrander produced a smart, sharp race Saturday at the World Cross-Country Championships in Serbia, where she finished 30th overall and second among Americans.

Ostrander, a 27-year-old who was already a legend as a teenager, covered the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) course in Belgrade in 34 minutes, 11 seconds, slowly moving up the field in the latter half of the five-lap race and closing the final two kilometers in the 16th-fastest time in the field of 84 finishers.

She said her goal was to finish in the top 30 and score for Team USA – she accomplished both and helped the Americans to fourth place in the team standings. Each country’s top four finishers counted in the team score – champion Kenya proved perfect, as its women finished 1-2-3-4-5. Beatrice Chebet (31:05) repeated as champion.

On the big stage, with temperatures hitting 80 degrees, Ostrander delivered.

She was 45th after one lap, 46th after two laps, 44th after three laps, 39th after four laps and 30th at the finish. Her final split of 7:27 ranked 16th.

Photo courtesy Allie Ostrander Instagram.

“I’m pretty happy,’’ she told Jonathan Gault of letsrun.com. “My plan was to go out conservative and try and stay relaxed, and move up as much as I could, just with the heat and the weirdness of the course. So, yeah, I’m happy with it.’’

Saturday marked the third different running discipline Ostrander has raced on the world stage. She was the 2015 girls gold medalist at the World Mountain Running Championship and raced the steeplechase on the track at the 2019 World Championships. Ostrander was a three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase at Boise State.

Ostrander, who is based in Seattle and is sponsored by NNormal, a shoe and apparel manufacturer, qualified for the World Cross-Country Championships by finishing sixth at the U.S. championships earlier this year. Her second place among Americans on Saturday – Weini Kelati (32:53) led Team USA with her 15th-place finish – was a significant improvement.

“I feel like that was a really strong race for me,’’ Ostrander told Gault.

Ostrander first flashed her talent on Mount Marathon, the annual Fourth of July race on the 3,022-foot peak overlooking Resurrection Bay in Seward. She won six straight junior girls titles – she also beat all the boys in the mixed race in her final junior appearance – and has won a senior women’s title too. At Kenai Central High, she was a three-time state cross country champion and still holds the state track records at 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

Ostrander with USA teammates Abby Nichols and Emma Hurley. Photo courtesy Allie Ostrander Instagram.

Ostrander traveled to Colorado and New Mexico to train at altitude in preparation for Saturday’s race in Serbia. She also prepped by winning the overall title at a low-key 5K road race in the Seattle area.

She has said she intends to run a variety of disciplines this year.

Ostrander in April will be inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame.

Story made possible by:

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Family of Sponsors

Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO's | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose's Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie - Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower | Peter Pounds | Multisport Training of Alaska/Lisa Keller | RSA Engineering

Sports Categories