Former WOU runner qualifies to run in Olympic Trials

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Former Western Oregon University two-time All-American Kennedy Rufener recently set her sights on the next level when she was able to post a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying mark at the California International Marathon.

Going against 7,502 other competitors, Rufener was able to post a time of 2:44:17 to come in 474th overall.

She placed 56th out of 3,273 female competitors who entered the race.

Rufener made a strong move during the final 10k-plus jumping from 540 into the top-500 and finishing at 474. The USATF qualifying time for the marathon is 2:37:00 for the “A” and 2:45:00 for the “B”. By posting a time in the “B” qualifying, Rufener will now have a shot to compete in the Olympic Team Trial that will take place on Feb., 29  in Atlanta. She will then have a shot to try and advance to be a part of team USA that will compete at the 2020 Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo.

Rufener set five school records and was a two-time All-American in the 5k indoor and 10k outdoor during her time at Western Oregon. She also was an All-Region and individual qualifier in cross country. She graduated from WOU with honors while earning USTFCCCA All-Academic accolades. Rufener went on to compete as a graduate transfer at Western Colorado in Gunnison, Colo., where she placed 17th at the NCAA National Championships in helping the Mountaineers to a third overall team finish.

Rufener is currently coaching on the staff of the Western Washington cross country and track and field programs.

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