The Notre Dame senior won the women’s NCAA 5k on Friday night in 15:15.21, #3 in NCAA history and just off Kim Smith’s 15:14.18 NCAA Championships record. Seidel has now won three straight NCAA titles— 2015 10k, 2015 NCAA XC, and now the 2016 indoor 5k. She’ll go for another one tomorrow in the 3k, which she’ll be heavily favored in based on what transpired with Boise State frosh Allie Ostrander.
Seidal’s fiercest adversary, and the runner-up behind the Irish senior at NCAA XC in November, Ostrander unfortunately had to drop out after two miles. While we had touted the Seidel-Allie O showdown as the greatest women's NCAA indoor 5,000m in history—Seidel entered with a 15:19 PR, Ostrander 15:21— we obviously did not know that the freshman had been dealing with a knee injury that kept her on the shelf for the last two weeks.
Allie Ostrander told ESPN that she's had a knee injury that has kept her from training the last two weeks #NCAATF— FloTrack (@FloTrack) March 12, 2016
She was distraught, and understandably so on such a big stage, but there will be much better days ahead for Ostrander. It seems very likely that the collegiate record, which Seldel came within three seconds of tonight, will one day be Ostrander’s, as will plenty of NCAA hardware.
Michigan’s Erin Finn deserves a fist bump for sticking with Seidel all the way to 4,000m, and she was rewarded with a runner-up showing plus the ninth-fastest time in NCAA history, 15:23.16. That’s a 14-second indoor PR for Finn.