Fresh off a win at the NCAA Championships in the 3K steeplechase, Kenai Central (AK) High graduate Allie Ostrander followed it up with a special moment close to home.
The 20-year-old Alaska native, who also finished fourth in the 5K at the NCAAs, won the Mount Marathon 3-miler, an annual Fourth of July race in Seward that ascends and descends 3,000 feet of elevation.
In her second try at the grueling race, Ostrander, a Boise State redshirt freshman, landed the second-best time in its history, producing a winning effort of 49 minutes, 19 seconds, per the Anchorage Dispatch News.
"It's Mount Marathon. It's Alaska. It's my Fourth of July," Ostrander told the Anchorage Dispatch News. "Fourth of July feels empty without Mount Marathon."
Ostrander cut nearly a minute off her personal best of 2015 when she debuted in the race, but she's still almost two minutes from the all-time best of 47:48, which was accomplished by Emelie Forsberg in that same year.
Ostrander was the race favorite the moment she stepped to the foot of the mountain.
Last year's winner, Christy Marvin, won in 51:02. But Marvin, 37, who finished in 52:22 on Tuesday, told the local paper "it was not a very fun one this time."
Ostrander, a runner-up at the NCAA Championships in cross country as a freshman, is a six-time junior champion of the race.
She encountered some tough stretches on the descent, including four times when she said she "penguin-slid."