Runners with Idaho ties put Olympic hopes on the line this week. Are they headed to Tokyo?

·3 min read

A pair of Boise State All-Americans were among 14 qualifiers for Thursday’s final of the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Three-time NCAA steeplechase champion Allie Ostrander and 2014 NCAA runner-up Marisa Howard posted personal bests, but it wasn’t enough to make the Tokyo Games.

Howard placed fifth in 9 minutes, 24.74 seconds and Ostrander was eighth in 9:26.96. Only the top three runners make the Olympic steeplechase team.

Emma Coburn, the 2017 world champion and bronze medalist at the Rio Games in 2016, won the race in 9:09.41. Courtney Frerichs, the silver medalist in Rio, was second in 9:11.79, and Val Constien snagged the final qualifying spot in 9:18.34. BYU’s Courtney Wayment (9:23.09) will be the alternate.

Ostrander was also entered in the women’s 10,000 meters, but she withdrew before the race Saturday morning. Emma Bates, another BSU alum, was among the competitors in the 10,000. She finished 29th in 33:21.00.

Earlier this month, Ostrander revealed she is receiving treatment for an eating disorder and was prioritizing her health over training for the Olympics.

  • Paul Ryan, a graduate of Logos School in Moscow, placed fifth in the first heat of the men’s 1,500 meters on Thursday to automatically advance to the semifinals. Ryan crossed the finish line in 3:45.86. In Friday’s semifinals, Ryan was seventh in his heat and 18th overall — just two spots shy of making the final — with a time of 3:44.60. Ryan, who just wrapped up his senior season at Washington State, won multiple state titles in both cross country and track in Idaho’s 1A classification. Ryan still owns classification state meet records in the 800 (1:55.64) and 3,200 (9:25.02).

  • Former Boise State runner Sadi Henderson failed to advance in the women’s 800 meters. Henderson finished third in her heat of the event with a time of 2:02.40. Only the top two in each of the five heats moved into the semifinals, plus the next six fastest times overall. Henderson’s time ranked 21st out of 42 runners. Henderson spent her first three seasons at Boise State before following Bronco middle distance coach Pat McCurry to San Francisco, where McCurry took over as head coach.

  • Capital High alum Sam Brixey was a late addition to the men’s 110-meter hurdles field when another runner scratched, opening a spot for Brixey, who had the fastest time among non-qualifiers. Brixey endured quite the ordeal in Friday’s prelims as his heat had five false starts because of overly sensitive starting blocks. No runners were disqualified on the first four false starts, but Brixey was DQ’ed on the fifth. He challenged the disqualification and was reinstated for the semifinals, which were contested Saturday evening. Brixey finished ninth in his heat in 13.99 seconds and did not advance to the final.

  • Madison High graduate Chari Hawkins will compete Saturday and Sunday in the women’s heptathlon. The top three finishers will represent the U.S. in Tokyo. Through the first four events, Hawkins sits in fifth place with 3,856 points. The final three events — long jump, javelin throw and 800 meters — will be contested Sunday.

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