The Johns Creek senior will try to add to her resume the next two weekends as she sets her sights on another region title this weekend and a state title in a third different classification on Nov. 10 in Carrolton.
“For Allie to be in the hunt to win her third state title is pretty incredible, let alone in three different classifications,” said Johns Creek coach Danny Brock of Buchalski, who won a state title as a freshman in Class-AAA and as a junior in Class-AAAA. “Allie has to get through region first before she can worry about state though.”
The 6AAAAAA meet will be held Saturday at Garrard Landing in Alpharetta, the top four teams and top seven individuals overall will advance to the state meet in Carrollton.
In seven meets this season Buchalski has been as dominant as ever, finishing in the top three each time and winning her last five races outright — including a Fulton County Championship in early October.
Her resume also sports a personal best time of 17:58.90 at the Atlanta Classic — held at the Clinton Nature Preserve in Douglas County — a win at the Coach Wood Invitational in Gainesville, a victory at the Wesleyan Invitational and a win at the Bail N Trale race in Jacksonville, Fla.
“She is an unbelievable runner, has won five in a row, set two course records and beat some really talented girls along the way,” Brock said. “She is a once in a lifetime type of person to coach and I am enjoying every moment of it.”
Buchalski’s biggest challenge at state is expected to come from local rival Annie Kelly, a senior at Milton High School.
In four head-to-head races this season Kelly has bested Buchalski twice — at the Bob Blastow Invitational and Covered Bridge Invitational to start the season.
In their most recent head-to-head dual at the Coach Wood Invitational, Kelly led Buchalski for the better part of the race before Buchalski took over the last mile, besting Kelly by 10 seconds for the win.
“Annie is such a great runner and is very competitive [and] I can’t speak on the behalf of the Annie and Allie but there is definitely a rivalry,” said the Johns Creek coach. “Allie respects Annie a great deal and needs to be at her best to beat Annie in Carrollton.
“It will be an exciting race to watch.”