Ostrander disappointed in analyst's comments during Track & Field Championships

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Allie Ostrander is no stranger to making headlines on the track instead of social media. But the three-time national champion recently posted to Instagram about ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Div. I outdoor track and field national championships.

The Instagram post read:

“I was disappointed with the commentary that has occurred during my races for the past two years. Both times, the comments have brought attention to my appearance more than my ability. In 2018, I was called 'the baby faced assassin' and told that I looked like I still played with barbies. This year, the commentators found it necessary to state (incorrectly I might add) my height and weight multiple times. Not only were these comments objectifying and unnecessary, they drew attention away from the real focus of the event.”

Ostrander continued to drive home the point that commentary of these women’s events should focus on what women are capable of--not about their looks.

“In a sport where eating disorders and body dysmorphia are so common, the media has an opportunity to help women (and men!) feel capable, powerful, and worthy, but, by focusing on appearance and body proportions, this opportunity is missed,” she wrote.

The post sparked a response from ESPN:

“We greatly appreciate Allie bringing this important conversation to light. Commentary about height & weight was not broadcast on ESPN. The remark in question was made by the in-venue announcer at the championship,” wrote ESPN’s Amanda Brooks on Twitter.

As Ostrander's success on the track grows, so does her fan base. And Ostrander is becoming known for her candid post-race interviews. For example, after Ostrander won her third straight steeplechase national championship, she had fun discussing the heat in Austin at the national championships that week.

"I feel so hot right now, and not in the attractive way. I feel like I'm really low on the scale in that department," Ostrander said in an interview.


Ostrander even poked fun at herself at the end of the Instagram post:

"And anyway, everyone looked hot on Saturday so there was really no need to comment ��‍♀️��"

The Kenai runner is not afraid to use her national reach to bring attention to other things besides breaking records.

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I would like to precede this rant by saying that I am incredibly grateful for the equal coverage that @espn provided for both the men’s and women’s NCAA track and field championships. This is often not the case as 40% of athletes are females, but they only receive 4% of sports media coverage. With that said, I was disappointed with the commentary that has occurred during my races for the past two years. Both times, the comments have brought attention to my appearance more than my ability. In 2018, I was called “the baby faced assassin” and told that I looked like I still played with barbies. This year, the commentators found it necessary to state (incorrectly I might add) my height and weight multiple times. Not only were these comments objectifying and unnecessary, they drew attention away from the real focus of the event. People attend this event and listen to the commentary because they want to see what we are capable of, not what we look like we’re capable of. So why do the commentators insist on providing information that has nothing to do with performance in the sport? In a sport where eating disorders and body dysmorphia are so common, the media has an opportunity to help women (and men!) feel capable, powerful, and worthy, but, by focusing on appearance and body proportions, this opportunity is missed. And anyway, everyone looked hot on Saturday so there was really no need to comment ��‍♀️�� • • • #womeninsport #NCAATF #bodypositivity

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