Bronco Quintet Heads to Nationals
June 4, 2018
The Boise State women’s track and field team will send five athletes to Eugene, Ore., for the 2018 Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Historic Hayward Field from June 6-9. The Broncos will be represented Alexis Fuller (1,500m), Sadi Henderson (800m), Clare O’Brien (10,000m), Allie Ostrander (3,000m Steeplechase and 5,000m) and Kristie Schoffield (800m).
Athletes qualified by placing in the top 12 of their respective events at the NCAA East and West Preliminary Championships. In total, 24 competitors (12 from each preliminary) will be competing in each event at nationals.
WATCH LIVE: Televised by the ESPN family of networks, the championships will shift between ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 depending on the time, day and event. The Boise State athletes will all compete on the main broadcasts – ESPN2 on Thursday, ESPN on Saturday – because of the events being on the track.
The ESPN2 broadcast Thursday will begin at 4 p.m. PT and the ESPN broadcast Saturday will start at 3:30 p.m. PT.
Thursday, June 7
Saturday, June 9
WHAT GOT THEM HERE: O’Brien was the first Bronco to punch her ticket to nationals at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships (May 24-26), as she took ninth in the 10,000m with a career-best time of 32:39.30, putting her as the No. 2 performer in the Boise State record book.
Henderson and Schoffield (800m) were the second and third athletes to solidify spots in Eugene, as Henderson earned an automatic qualifier with a third-place finish in the third heat thanks to a 2:02.38 – making her the second-fastest performer in Mountain West history. Schoffield advanced on time, as she clocked a career-best 2:05.18 to take 12th overall, securing the final qualifying position.
Ostrander easily advanced in both the steeplechase and 5K, automatically qualifying in her respective heats thanks to a 9:40.20 in the steeple (first overall) and then a 15:27.46 in the 5,000m (fourth overall), putting her in a spot to repeat as national champion and attempt the same steeplechase/5K double as last season.
Fuller punched her ticket and will make her first-career appearance at outdoor nationals in the 1,500m after running a 4:13.68 to take third in her heat, thereby earning the automatic qualifier.
MAKING HISTORY: The five athletes and six entries are both program records for the Bronco women at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In addition, Boise State will have the most athletes and entries of any Mountain West school on the women's side at nationals.
Lastly, and perhaps most impressively, is that the Blue and Orange will be the only school in Eugene to have a women's athlete competing in each middle distance (800m and 1,500m) and distance (3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m and 10,000m) event.
CONTEXT ON POTENTIAL TITLE DEFENSE: If Ostrander defends her 3,000m steeplechase title and wins this week, she would be just the second woman to ever go back-to-back in the event in NCAA Division I history, joining Olympian and former Colorado Buffalo, Jenny Simpson (Barringer), as she did it in 2008 and 2009.
The redshirt sophomore would also be the first to go back-to-back as an underclassman, as Simpson did it as a junior and senior.
Only one other Bronco athlete has won two individual national titles, as recent Boise State Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Gabriel Wallin, won consecutive javelin national titles in the javelin in 2004 and 2005.
In the context of the Mountain West, Ostrander would become just the third repeat national champion on the women’s side in outdoor track and field history, joining Air Force’s Dana Pounds (Triple Jump – 2005 and 2006) and San Diego State’s Shanieka Thomas (Triple Jump – 2013 and 2014).
DAUNTING DOUBLE, UNPRECEDENTED POSSIBILITY: Ostrander excelled in the rare 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m double last season, as she took first and fourth in the two events, respectively, picking up a combined 15 points. This season she will be one of two athletes attempting the double, as she will be joined by Wofford’s Hannah Steelman.
If the redshirt sophomore were to somehow pull off the unthinkable and win the two events, she would be the first woman to ever win the two events at not just the same national championship, but also over the course of an individual career (NCAA women’s track and field introduced the 3,000m steeplechase in 2001).
Furthermore, if Ostrander were to somehow win both, she would be the first women’s NCAA middle distance or distance athlete to win two national titles on the same day at an outdoor national championship. While multiple sprinters and field event athletes have accomplished the same-day feat before, and other middle distance and distance athletes have won multiple titles on different days at the same championship, no other middle distance or distance athlete has accomplished the feat. Similar to last year, Ostrander will have roughly 80 minutes between the conclusion of the steeplechase final and the 5,000m final.
WELL REPRESENTED IN THE 800M: With Henderson and Schoffield set to represent the Blue and Orange in the 800m, Boise State will be one of four schools with multiple entries in the field, as they are joined by the likes of Clemson, Texas A&M and Villanova.
This will also be the first time the Broncos has sent multiple 800m runners to an indoor or national championship. In addition, Henderson is one of five runners in the 800m field this week to be making their fourth-consecutive appearances in the event at nationals (2017 indoors, 2017 outdoors, 2018 indoors and 2018 outdoors). Schoffield will be just one of five freshmen competing in the event, as well.
FULLER BREAKING THROUGH: While Fuller competed at indoor nationals earlier this year as a member of the distance medley relay team, this will be her first individual appearance at a track and field national championship. She will be just the second 1,500m athlete on the women’s side to ever compete at nationals, joining Niamh Bierne (1996 and 1997).
O’BRIEN CONTINUES 10K TRADITION: O’Brien will be the fifth Bronco on the women’s side to compete in the 10,000m at nationals, and gives the Bronco women’s squad a 10K competitor at nationals in five of the last six seasons. She joins the likes of Brenna Peloquin (2016), Emma Bates (2015, ’14 and ’13), Becky Guyette (2007) and Abby Peters (2000).
She competed last year in the 5K and took 17th, picking up honorable mention All-America honors.
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