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Howard and Ostrander advance to women's 3K steeplechase final at USATF Olympic Trials

Former Boise State All-Americans will race for a spot at the Toyko Olympics on Thursday
Credit: John W. McDonough
Track and Field: 2019 Sunset Tour race action Azusa, CA, USA 7/10/2019 X162756 TK1 Credit: John W. McDonough

EUGENE -- Former Boise State track and field All-Americans Marisa Howard and Allie Ostrander are now one step closer to qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Howard and Ostrander each advanced through the preliminary round in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials in Eugene on Sunday.

Howard proved she is in prime form, running with the lead pack the entire race. She cruised to a fifth place finish, clinching an automatic berth into the finals. Her time of 9:30.62 was just off her personal-best, but that was likely more of tactical decision, knowing she had done enough to advance through to the finals.

"For me, I've never been an Olympian, so what do I have to lose at this point," Howard told KTVB. "For me, I just get to go and have fun."

Ostrander just missed out on automatically qualifying, finishing in sixth place, one spot outside of the required top five finish in each of the two respective heats. She was able to qualify based on time though. Ostrander crossed the line in 9:35.56, a new season-best.

Of the 14 women that will race in the women's 3,000 meter steeplechase finals on Thursday, two of them are Boise State alumni. The top three runners in the final will earn the right to represent Team USA at the Tokyo Games next month.