A tremendous spring turned into a historic fall for Rio Rico runner Allie Schadler, as she transitioned to her junior year with speed and grace that had her rewriting the Arizona girls cross country record book.
Schadler shattered Dani Jones’ 1-year-old state record, winning the Division III 5K championship at Cave Creek Golf Course in 17 minutes, 4.5 seconds. Jones set the state record for girls last season in a time of 17:26 in the Division I championship at the same course.
As she ran alone, way ahead of the pack in the final mile, Schadler had no idea a record was in sight.
“The race people were saying I could get the record,” she said. “At first, I didn’t really believe them.”
Now, she’s got another year to try to top herself after being named the Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year by azcentral sports.
To put her state championship time in perspective, she was the only girl in any of the four divisional state championship races to break 18 minutes. And she was only 5 seconds off of breaking 17 minutes.
This came after a brilliant sophomore season in track. In May, she won the girls state titles in the 200-meter and 1,600-meter runs. Her time of 4:45.15 in the 1,600 was just off Jones’ state record of 4:44.46 set last year at Phoenix Desert Vista. Jones is now at the University of Colorado.
“Allie’s season picked up right where she left off in the spring,” said Stephen Schadler, Allie’s father and coach. “After having such a terrific track experience, she was a little concerned about how to improve, but that is her strongest asset. Allie continues to search into the unknown of her potential. She is determined to discover just how much she can accomplish in this sport and really enjoys the challenge of competing against the best girls in the country.”
Schadler started running as a toddler with her dad, a former elite distance runner.
“I couldn’t go very far,” she said. “Maybe 10 minutes.”
In high school, she looked up to Desert Vista’s Jones, who also set the 3,200-meter state record in track. She also looked up to Carlos Villarreal, who broke the boys state record in the 1,600 at Rio Rico last year when he was azcentral sports’ Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year as a senior.
“This whole season I looked forward to improving from last year,” she said. “Just to win and do the best I could. The goal was to go to nationals. State was another stepping-stone.”
All-Arizona Girls Cross Country Team
(Based on top times at state championships.)
Allie Schadler, Rio Rico, Jr.
Sarah Carter, Phoenix Xavier Prep, Jr.
Emily Crall, Desert Vista, Jr.
Maya Smith, Flagstaff Northland Prep, So.
Jesselyn Bries, Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor, So.
Tessa Weiss, Xavier Prep, Sr.
Alexis Nichols, Chandler, Sr.
Daangoiina Haven, Ganado, Sr.
Courtney Lewis, Flagstaff, Sr.
Samantha Schadler, Rio Rico, Fr.
Reach Obert at email@example.com or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.