Ostrander Named MW Athlete of the Year

July 19, 2017

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Boise State redshirt freshman Allie Ostrander has been named the 2016-17 Mountain West Female Athlete of the Year, the conference office announced Wednesday. Ostrander became the first freshman in more than a decade to win a national championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, clocking a time of 9:41.31 at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships this past month.

Ostrander is the first freshman female to be bestowed the conference’s highest athletic accolade since the award was established in 2009-10.

"All of us at Boise State University congratulate Allie on her national championship and recognition as the top female athlete in our conference,” Boise State President Dr. Bob Kustra said. “Her grit and attitude serve as an inspiration​ ​and we are glad she represents Boise State University on a national scale."

With Ostrander’s recognition, Boise State has claimed four MW Athlete of the Year accolades since joining the league in 2011-12, tied for the most by a school since the award’s inception (New Mexico) and the most by a school since the Broncos joined the conference.

Emma Bates claimed back-to-back Athlete of the Year honors in 2013-14 and 2014-15, giving Boise State three female honorees – the most by any Mountain West school. Kurt Felix was honored as the MW Male Athlete of the Year following the 2011-12 season.

“There is no doubt that Allie had a phenomenal season, and I am thrilled to see her recognized,” Boise State track & field head coach Corey Ihmels said. “I truly believe that she is just scratching the surface of her potential. She is an amazing talent, and I am excited to see what else she is able to accomplish both as a Bronco and in her post-Boise State career.”

Last month Ostrander was also named the MW Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Student-Athlete of the Year, an award voted on by the league’s coaches, and earlier this week was named both Spring Academic All-MW and a MW Scholar-Athlete.

“Allie defines the term student-athlete, competing at a championship level both athletically and academically,” Director of Athletics Curt Apsey said. “In addition to winning a national championship, she is also a 4.0 student - and she’s only a freshman. We can’t wait to see what comes next for her at Boise State.”

Each of Ostrander’s accolades come on the heels of one of the most unique, yet incredibly successful outdoor seasons for a distance athlete in MW history. She competed in the 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m and 10,000m over the course of the outdoor season, but still managed to make an indelible mark in each event at season’s end.

After redshirting the 2016 cross country and 2017 indoor track and field seasons due to injury, the native of Kenai, Alaska, began her 2017 outdoor campaign by winning the elite section of the 3,000m steeplechase at the Stanford Invitational. Ostrander clocked a 9:55.61 to become the second-fastest steepler in school history in what was her first time running the event.

She then tried her hand at the 1,500m at the Mt. SAC Relays and ran a 4:18.19 (also her first-career attempt at the 1,500m) to become the third fastest in the school record book. Ostrander returned to familiarity with her season debut in the 5k at the Border Clash, winning the event with a 16:09.27 to solidify her spot at west preliminaries.

The conference championships then saw Ostrander claim the 10,000m title (35:51.20) and take second in the 5,000m (16:20.45) to rack up 18 points for the Broncos – the most for any Bronco (excluding relays). Possessing the necessary qualifying times in the 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m in the context of the NCAA West Preliminary Championships, the Alaskan narrowed her focus to the steeplechase and 5k – beginning her path to what would be a historic double.

She easily qualified in both events at west preliminaries, taking first in the steeple and second in the 5,000m, solidifying her spots in both events in Eugene, Ore.

Ostrander easily took care of business in the steeplechase semifinal and qualified ahead at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, setting the stage for a Saturday that would feature just a 75-minute break between the 3,000m steeplechase final and the 5,000m final.

Ostrander became the second freshman to win an individual national championship and the 10th individual champion in school history when she crossed the finish line first in 9:41.31, claiming the 3,000m steeplechase title. She also was the first freshman to win the steeple since 2006.

She then persevered through the 75-minute break and put forth a massive effort to take fourth in the 5,000m with a 15:46.18. Ostrander accounted for 15 points to give Boise State a tie for 13th place in the team standings.

The 15 points is tied for the most from a single Bronco at an outdoor track and field championship in school history. Bates accumulated 15 points in 2014 after winning the 10,000m title and taking fourth in the 5,000m.

Ostrander picked up first team All-America honors in both events, giving her the second and third All-America honors of her young career.

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