Paladin Club

A Playmaker in Athletics: Allie Buchalski

A Playmaker in Athletics: Allie Buchalski
Allie Buchalski ’17 has accumulated her fair share of titles and accolades during her collegiate running career. Allie was named the Southern Conference Women’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year in 2013 and Women’s Cross Country Runner of the Year in 2014 and 2015. She has been named to the NCAA All-Southeast Region cross country team three times. She has also been named the Southern Conference Indoor Track Most Outstanding Athlete twice and Outdoor Track Freshman of the year and has set multiple Furman records along the way. All the while, she has maintained a high GPA and has received academic recognition from the Southern Conference, CoSIDA, and the USTFCCCA.

However, none of those accomplishments is as memorable to Allie as being named an All-American during her junior year. In fact, she did it twice. Allie was the first All-American in both the women’s cross country and women’s outdoor track programs at Furman. Especially meaningful to Allie was her performance at the 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships, where she finished 7th in the nation to earn her first All-American honors. While Allie had been disappointed with how her 2014 cross country season ended, she promised herself that 2015 would be different. With about 2,000m left in the 2015 NCAA Championship race, Allie realized that she would not only achieve her goals, but would also surpass what she and her coaches even thought was possible at the beginning of the season. That feeling is not one she will soon forget.

This year, Allie chose to redshirt during the cross country season to focus on competing for a spot on the senior national cross country team. Not only did she make the team, but she was also the only collegiate runner to make the senior national team. While most Furman students were soaking up a few last days of winter break with family and friends, Allie was on her way to Edinburgh, Scotland, to compete with Team USA in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge. She finished in 10th place and helped Team USA to the overall win. Allie loved being part of this elite team and is rightfully proud of their accomplishments in Edinburgh.

After graduation, Allie will continue to chase her Olympic dreams as a professional runner. Because of her experience at Furman, she is considering training with Furman’s professional running team, Furman Elite, and will decide with her coaches if that is the best fit. In the meantime, she will continue to soak up everything that Furman has to offer: “Furman—and everything Furman provides—has helped shape me into the person I am today. Furman builds the individual in a dimension that is in some ways completely unrelated to their obvious commitment to academic and athletic excellence. Throughout my time here, Furman has shaped the way I think, the way I operate in different situations, and the way I approach everyday challenges.”

Experiences like Allie’s are made possible by athletic scholarships provided through the Paladin Club. By supporting the Paladin Club with your annual gift, you support Furman’s playmakers in athletics, in the classroom, and in the community—and you, too, are a playmaker. Join the Paladin Club today!