What’s More Impressive, Kim Conley’s 15:09 Or Allie Ostrander’s 15:21?
That’s the question I was asking myself after watching these two ladies each hit grand slams at the Dempsey.
Watch the race:
First for Conley, her 15:09.31 came oh so close to her 15:08 outdoor PR, an absolutely unbelievable performance for certain. Conley was said to be targeting the 15:24 Olympic standard, and then proceeded to make a mockery of it with a time that marks the fastest indoor 5,000m performance by an American ever before February.
Although it won’t officially count because of it being run on an over-sized track, the 29-year-old’s time is the fourth-fastest ever by an American indoors.
For it being January, Conley is running like a well-oiled machine right now, as her race tonight came just five days after she ran a 4:27 mile World lead at the Armory. After an injury-plagued 2015, the Olympian is well on her way to a career year.
And then there’s Boise State’s Ostrander, who showed us this past fall just how special of a talent she can be. Tonight was no exception, as the diminutive frosh busted out a 15:21.85 5k debut, an outrageous time for an athlete with no prior experience in the distance.
Of course, you figured Ostrander was going to be really good at this race since she was runner-up at NCAA XC in November, but 15:21 surpasses my wildest imagination of what she could run this early in her career. During the week, I made what I thought to be a decently bold pick that she would run 15:38-ish. Not even close.
Even more exciting is that Allie O likely could’ve run a few seconds quicker if she had gone out a bit more aggressively. She stayed with the chase pack for the first 3k, but ended up beating the third place finisher by nearly 24 seconds. Even so, I don't think she’ll be too upset with the fastest time in the NCAA right now also by 24 seconds.
Although it won’t officially count on the all-time list because of the over-sized track, the time is ninth-fastest in NCAA history and the best ever by a true frosh. Is she the NCAA favorite? We can’t say for sure until all the other contenders—namely, NCAA XC champ Molly Seidel and 15:20 performer Sarah Disanza— debut, but Ostrander has once again put her name right up there just as she did in the fall. And just like her fellow frosh Donavan Brazier, Ostrander now has an Olympic qualifier in her back pocket. The future is bright, ya’ll.
As far as my dilemma of picking a more impressive performance between Conley and Ostrander, I’ll call it a draw. Both= spectacular.