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Allie Ostrander and Karisa Nelson have joined the Brooks Beasts, the group announced on Wednesday.
Ostrander, the three-time NCAA champion in the steeplechase recently decided to forego her final year of NCAA eligibility at Boise State. During her career with the Broncos, she never lost a steeplechase final and finished in the top top-ten at the NCAA Championships on 12 different occasions between cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
At June’s NCAA Championships, Ostrander lowered her personal best to 9:37.73 in sweltering conditions. On Sunday, she cut even more time off when she ran 9:31.44 at the Prefontaine Classic. Ostrander is the Beasts first steeplechaser since 2014, though her abilities in the 5000m and 10,000m give her multiple options as a professional.
Beasts' head coach Danny Mackey said they haven't yet settled on an event focus.
"I've never seen her run one single workout, just race," Mackey said.
"It would be shortsighted for me to predict based on that little data what a 22 (year-old) athlete is going to be the best at in their career. And maybe she needs to improve in one event to set the table to be a world beater in another event in 2024 or 2028."
Nelson, the 2017 NCAA mile champion from Samford, bounced back from a stress fracture in her foot in 2018 to end her collegiate career among the best in the nation. At the indoor championships in March, she placed second in the mile. This spring she qualified for the NCAA Championships, but didn’t advance to the final.
Mackey thinks Nelson has a high ceiling and that her self-belief throughout her collegiate career will serve her well as a pro.
Ostrander’s professional debut is still unknown, while Nelson will race at next week’s Sunset Tour in Los Angeles.