By: John Raffel
Ithaca senior runner eying state title
He’s a senior, but Ithaca cross country standout Ransom Allen definitely wants to make his final prep season his best one.
Allen started out the season with four first places: at Birch Run Early Invitational (16:05.2) on Aug. 23, at the Yellowjacket Cross Country Invitational on Aug. 29 (16:30.8), at the Marauder Invitational on Sept. 6 (16:05.8), and at the TVC West Jamboree No. 1 hosted by St. Charles on Sept. 11 (17:00.9). He was 15th overall at the MSU Spartan Invitational on Sept. 14 with a personal record of 15:51.2. Ithaca opted to run in the elite division. Allen lost to one Division 3 runner by 5.5 seconds.
His coach, Tim Lambrecht, notes it’s Allen’s third year of cross since he didn’t run it as a freshman but played soccer instead.
“As a sophomore, he dual-sported between soccer and cross country,” Lambrecht said. “Last year he fully committed to cross country. He really doesn’t have as much racing experience as some of the other kids.
“Last year, it was his breakthrough year. He fully committed to cross. He got some good running in over the summer. He was all-state, and finished eighth at state and won all the league meets. He broke our school record, so then we kind of knew he was the real deal. His sister Courtney Allen had run with us and was the previous school record holder. Courtney is now running at Western Michigan University. We knew it was in the blood.”
Lambrecht was very impressed with Allen’s off-season training.
“This year, he’s a step above where he was last year, a significant step above,” Lambrecht said. “In fact, he’s talking to a significant number of college coaches.”
“Our ultimate goal is an individual state championship,” Lambrecht answered, “which is a lofty goal, but it’s definitely within reach.”