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Making an impact

Former Crater High running standouts Gracie Tostenson and Sarah Hastings have been making an impact at Boise State University.

The pair competed at the NCAA West Regional Championships last Friday in Sacramento, California, with Tostenson placing 42nd and Hastings 60th.

Tostenson, a junior, finished the 6,000-meter course in 20 minutes, 33.4 seconds. Hastings, a senior, clocked a 20:56.7.

The experience of running for the Division I Broncos has been excellent, the two said. Both have proven to be important members of the program.

"I've loved it," said the 20-year-old Tostenson, who is studying health and sciences. "It goes by fast. I try to take in every moment."

Boise State’s Brenna Peloquin qualified for the Nov. 19 NCAA National Championships in Indiana, but the Broncos came up short of an at-large bid and snapped a two-year streak of qualifying for nationals.

The Boise State men were one of 13 at-large teams selected to compete at nationals, joining 18 others who automatically qualified by placing in the top two of their respective regions.

Last season, Tostenson competed in six meets as a constant in the Bronco lineup. She was 204th at nationals after taking 72nd in last fall's regional meet.

“I think the thing about college running, you have to learn to compete in a big group and trust yourself and your training,” said Tostenson, whose placing at regionals this year was a career best. “I am learning how to trust myself and run with my teammates and work off them, too.”

As a senior at Crater, Tostenson claimed third at the state cross country championships and was third in the 1,500 state track race.

The 22-year-old Hastings, who is set to graduate this spring, has had to overcome several injuries during her collegiate career. She recently found out that she has a stress fracture in her left leg that will keep her out of the upcoming indoor season. Hastings is hoping to be ready for spring track.

"I was really happy to finish this cross country season because I wasn’t able to last year," the sociology major said. "I'm thankful that I could make it through the season."

The adversity made her stronger though, Hastings said.

“Because of that adversity, when I’m running healthy I really take advantage of every opportunity that is given to me,” she said.

Hastings transferred to BSU after running for the University of Montana from 2012-14. She claimed fourth at the state cross country championships as a high school senior.

Having a familiar face around has been nice, Tostenson said.

"I always feel like I have a part of home with me," she said.

The feeling is mutual for Hastings.

“People forget that we go way back and ran high school together,” she said. “I think it dawned on us after regionals that that was probably our last cross country race together. You realize how cool it is going from high school to college teammates together.”

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or email djones@mailtribune.com. Find him online at twitter.com/danjonesmt

Boise State's Sarah Hastings, third from the left, was happy to finish out the outdoor cross country season after dealing with injuries throughout her college career.
Former Crater running standout Gracie Tostenson, leading, is in her third season at Boise State. JUSTIN TAFOYA / NCAA PHOTOS