Lady Buffalo runner places 10th in elite race at KU's Rim Rock
Updated: Nov 6
Prairie View junior Bree Allen, seated, laces up in preparation to run in the Rim Rock Classic on Saturday. Several of Allen's teammates traveled with her for support. (Marcie Caldwell)
LAWRENCE – Defending Girls Class 3A cross country champion Bree Allen set a personal record time of 18:44.30 to take 10th place in the gold division of the 2023 Rim Rock Classic meet north of Lawrence on Saturday.
Allen, a Prairie View junior who is more accustomed to leading regional races from start to finish, ran against elite runners from at least seven states, including those from as far south as Dallas, as far west as Denver, as far north as Ames, Iowa, and as far east as St. Louis.
“I was super excited.” Allen said on Monday afternoon as she and the rest of the Prairie View team were cooling down after practice. “I really enjoyed it because it was a lot of fun. I got to see all kinds of competition.”
Nearly 200 girls competed in the gold division 5,000-meter race that was held on Kansas University’s home course.
That meant working through a crowd of runners at the beginning of the race.
“It wasn’t too bad,” she said. “I’ve run in some bigger races, like clubs. I tried to get out so it wouldn’t affect me, but it was still pretty crowded.
Katelyn Rupe, a junior from Salina Central, won the girl’s gold division race with a time of 17:33.10, and freshman Kaylie Schultz, also from Salina Central, was second with a time of 18:21.00. Salina Central is a Class 5A school.
“They really killed it,” Allen said.
The fastest time for a boy in the gold division was 15:40.80 clocked by Ethan Zuber, a junior from Ankeny (Iowa) High School.
Allen said she was excited about turning in a personal best time. She said the race was motivation to run even faster as the state meet draws nearer this fall.
The girl’s elite division race was scheduled to begin at around 9:30 a.m., however, thunderstorms rolling through the area postponed the race for more than three hours because of lightning.
According to Joy Epperson, assistant coach for the Prairie View cross country team, once the storms began to clear, event organizers pushed the races for elite runners to the front of the line to sure that those races involving runners from the surrounding states were able to compete.
In addition to the gold division race, there were also races in blue and crimson divisions for students from smaller schools and larger schools respectively.
Just over 1,100 girls competed in races in six division at Rim Rock on Saturday, including junior varsity and C team races. More than 1,000 boys competed in races in four divisions.
Spectators heading to the event reported a major traffic jam getting into the venue, which is located on a gravel country road.