NCAA Women’s Steeple — New Plan For The Second Time Around

Paige Stoner hung with Allie Ostrander for much of the race, but couldn’t cope when the pace got increasingly stiffer. (MIKE SCOTT)

Allie Ostrander clearly came to Eugene with a plan. Not like last year, with a dream. She started in the semis with the best qualifying time—ever—of 9:45.96, aggressively opening a gap over New Mexico’s Charlotte Prouse of nearly 4 seconds. “This year I was probably more expected to win since I was the defending champion,” said the Boise State soph.

So fast were the semis overall that Amy Cashin of West Virginia (9:58.75 PR) and Wofford’s unheralded frosh Hannah Steelman (9:59.94 PR) became the two fastest non-qualifiers ever, as all finalists ran sub-10:00s for the first time.

In the final, the 21-year-old Alaska native moved to the lead by the second lap with Syracuse’s ACC champ Paige Stoner always close. Not much changed during the first 6 laps, other than the diminutive Ostrander maintaining the lead and slowly increasing the tempo. Early on, she was churning out 78s then some 76s before taking 75 and 73 to finish off. “This year, I ran the race a little bit more like I was really in it to win,” she explained. “I took the lead earlier and pushed the pace more”

When the Bronco star kicked it in with 600 to go, Stoner lost ground. Prouse, always with the chase pack, tried to move up and started to close the gap with Stoner. With a lap to go, Ostrander had increased her lead to 30m and the followers were trying to sort themselves out. Her 9:39.28 made her the No. 9 performer in meet history as she joined Jenny Simpson of Colorado (’08 & ’09) as the event’s only back-to-back winners.

Said Boise coach Corey Ihmels, “She looked very under control, relaxed. She wasn’t pressured at any point.”

Meanwhile, Prouse sprinted furiously off the final curve and caught Stoner with about 70m remaining for 2nd, 9:45.45–9:46.98. Colorado Junior Val Constien, 4th a year ago, was always bouncing between 4th and 6th but couldn’t hold off the fast-finishing Michigan senior Claire Borchers’ 9:48.33. Constien (9:48.40) edged Utah senior Grayson Murphy by 0.40 for 5th.


NCAA WOMEN’S STEEPLE RESULTS

FINAL (June 09; interior water jump)

1. **Allie Ostrander (Boise) 9:39.28 (9, x NCAA) (73.07);

2. **Charlotte Prouse’ (NM) 9:45.45 (73.63);

3. *Paige Stoner (Syr) 9:46.98 PR (76.18);

4. Claire Borchers (Mi) 9:48.33 PR;

5. *Val Constien (Co) 9:48.40;

6. Grayson Murphy (Ut) 9:48.80;

7. Courtney Coppinger (Ks) 9:49.04;

8. *Cierra Simmons (UtSt) 9:49.33;

9. *Sarah Scott (Ok) 9:56.17;

10. Alsu Bogdanova’ (EnMi) 9:59.29;

11. **Devin Clark (Ar) 10:03.70;

12. Katy Kunc (Ky) 10:09.04.

(best-ever mark-for-NCAA-place: 7–8, 10)

SEMIS (June 07)

I–1. Murphy 9:48.57 PR; 2. Simmons 9:50.35 PR; 3. Stoner 9:50.76; 4. Constien 9:50.98; 5. Borchers 9:54.52 PR; 6. Scott 9:56.46 PR;

7. Amy Cashin’ (WV) 9:58.75 PR (fastest NCAA non-Q ever); 8. ***Hannah Steelman (Woff) 9:59.94 PR (5, 9 AJ) (faster than previous fastest NCAA non-Q);

9. Sarah Zieve (Mi) 10:09.17; 10. Madeline Strandemo (Mn) 10:11.93; 11. Morgan Wedekind (KsSt) 10:18.65; 12. ***Kristlin Gear (Furm) 10:35.42.

II–1. Ostrander 9:45.96 (fastest NCAA Q ever);

2. Prouse’ 9:49.78; 3. Bogdanova’ 9:57.05; 4. Coppinger 9:57.09; 5. Clark 9:57.19; 6. Kunc 9:57.72;

7. *Shelby Brown (Ms) 10:02.16; 8. Nell Crosby (Col) 10:09.97; 9. *Emily Hamlin (Wa) 10:14.71; 10. **Gabrielle Jennings (Furm) 10:18.10; 11. **Logan Morris (Clem) 10:18.68; 12. *Rachel King (SDSt) 10:27.92.

(first NCAA with all Q’s sub-10:00) □

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