WOU All-American, WWU Coach Qualifies For Olympic Trials
Rufener's finish time of 2:44:17 was just under the
Rufener's finish time of 2:44:17 was just under the "B" qualifying standard for 2:45 for the Olympic Trials.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A year after seeing her exceptional collegiate career come to a close, former Western Oregon student-athlete and current Western Washington assistant coach Kennedy Rufener is making a run at the Olympic Games.

Rufener earned the “B’ standard for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials by running a time of 2:44:17 at the California International Marathon on Dec. 9. The time just ducked under the standard of 2 hours, 45 minutes, and is one of approximately 500 athletes nationwide who have met the standard.

Rufener placed 476th overall in the race and was 56th place among all females. She also placed fifth in the marathon’s female 20-24 age group. A total of 7,502 competitors, including 3,273 women, competed in the marathon.

With the qualifying time, Rufener is eligible to compete in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, which take place on February 29 in Atlanta.

The 2018 GNAC champion indoors in the 5,000 meters, Rufener earned Division II All-American honors outdoors in the 10,000 meters with her fourth-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships. She also earned Second Team All-American honors with an 11th-place finish in the 5,000 meters at the 2018 NCAA Division II Indoor Championships.

In addition, Rufener set WOU records indoors in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters and was part of the Wolves’ school-record distance medley relay team in 2017. She also set school records outdoors in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

After completing her career at Western Oregon, Rufener competed as a graduate transfer in cross country at Western Colorado, where she placed 17th at the 2018 NCAA Division II Championships. She helped lead the Mountaineers to a third-place team finish.

Earlier this fall, Rufener was hired as an assistant cross country and track and field coach at Western Washington, where she helped coach the Vikings to a pair of GNAC team championships.