The 2017 Oberlin Mile  

  Benefitting YOUR Community, YOUR Schools, YOUR Kids  

TOM 2015 - Summary of the 2nd Annual Oberlin Mile ~ race results, participation and financials:
97 registered runners and walkers
24 competitive runners, 14 females, 10 males
$3837 in net proceeds were awarded to the athletic and physical education programs of 7 public schools in 3 states (Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado)

SCHOOL AWARDS by % of participation

Decatur Community High School Junior High School, Oberlin, KS          24.1% = $925.00

Oberlin Elementary School, Oberlin, KS                                                        51.6% = $1980.00 

Cheylin High School, Bird City, KS                                                                                                   3.5% = $134.00

Rushton Elementary School, Mission, KS                                                                                        3.5% = $134.00

Washington Elementary School, Ellis, KS                                                                                      6.9% = $265.00

McCook High School, McCook, NE                                                                                                  3.5% = $134.00

Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch, CO                                                                     6.9% = $265.00


TOM 2015 Women's Race Results

Oberlin native Amanda "Mandy" Sowers won the over-all women’s division and the Yellow Shirt with a time of  6:05.94, just over 2 seconds shy of a new course record.

Over-all Top 3
1. Amanda Sowers, Oberlin, KS, 6:05.94
2. Kayla Toews, New Castle, CO (2014 winner) 6:10.79
3. Kerrie Wahlmeier, Oberlin, KS, 6:22.11
All Results, Women's Race
Age Group 10-14

  1   May, Erin              7:30.80 

Age Group 15-19

  1   Capps, Sonya           7:14.63 

Age Group 20-29

  1   Toews, Kayla           6:10.79 

  2   Wahlmeier, Kerrie      6:22.11 

  3   Diederich, Brandi      6:38.47 

  4   Tally, Lacy            7:19.55

Age Group 30-39

  1   Sowers, Amanda         6:05.94 

  2   Witt, Tiffany          7:07.61 

  3   Reichert, Mary         7:13.00 

  4   Glaze, Brianna         7:17.26 

Age Group 50-59

  1   Unger, Jeanie          7:35.07 

  2   Shields, Kelly         8:07.68 

Age Group 60+

  1   Gaber, Linda           10:38.50 

  2   Mann, Karen            11:32.49 


TOM 2015 Men's Race Results

2015 Boston Marathoner Wes Toews, New Castle Colorado, also former member of the Hays Track Club and husband of Last year’s women’s winner, won the over-all men’s race and the Yellow Shirt with a new Oberlin Mile course record of 5:04.43.

Over-all Top 3
1. Wes Toews, New Castle, CO 5:04.43 (new course record)
2. Nolan Priebe, McCook, NE, 5:16.20
3. Stacy Priebe, McCook, NE, 5:30.55
All Results, Men's Race

Age Group 10-14

  1   Brown, Leighf              5:59.13 

  2   Waterman, David        6:32.15 

  3   Mastin, Tod            8:20.56   

Age Group 15-19

  1   Priebe, Nolan          5:16.20

  2   Fredrickson, Kaine     6:02.94 


 Age Group 20-29

  1   Toews, Wes             5:04.43

Age Group 40-49

  1   Priebe, Stacy          5:30.55

  2   Swanson, Kent          6:30.15 


Age Group 50-59

 --   Conner, Michael        DNS 


Age 60+

  1   Otis, John             10:18.58 


Founder's Review


When we pulled-off The Oberlin Mile in July of 2014, it had truly been a long time coming.

I fell in love with the mile when just a kid of about 14, then developed that love during my high school running career. I also fell in love with the idea of organizing a mile race after running one in my Indiana hometown - a race that had been founded by a KU runner named John Roscoe. If you really want to know the whole story you can read it here. Maybe you’ll get a bit of the inspiration I felt.

What a great – and fun – event, and what a great town to hold it in. Oberlin. The reason I come here, and came here to create the Oberlin Mile, is because it is the hometown of my wife’s father, and over the twenty-plus years I have been coming here, Oberlin has become an important part of my and my family’s life. Our enjoyment and appreciate of Oberlin and the idea for a mile race came together a few years ago and it all just seemed right. The idea, the people, the time, and the place. I hope it becomes a long-standing tradition. And I hope it helps.

Overall and on average, TOM 2015 was a faster race than 2014, so although with fewer participants than last year’s 119, totaling 96, competition was more intense.

Wes Toews (husband of Last year’s women’s winner Kayla Toews, an Oberlin native), who won the over-all men’s division, ran the Boston Marathon this spring and set a new Oberlin Mile course record that may be hard to break. Amanda Sowers won the over-all women’s division. At the same time she was training for the Aspen Marathon aiming to qualify for the 2016 Boston Marathon. They were each extremely ready for this day, and their times showed it. Both of the over-all winners received medals and trophies, but the most sought-after prize was the now-legendary “yellow” shirt. Only two are produced, one for the top male and one for the top female of their respective races. We hope this becomes one of the greatest traditions of this event.

From the moment we started this endeavor to run The Oberlin Mile, and I learned of the Soles on the Sappa Running Club here in Oberlin, who play host to the event, I have been extremely impressed with this highly dedicated and supportive group of women runners. They have fun, to be sure, but they’re also serious about their running. And they are serious about helping their community by organizing numerous running events throughout the year.


The net proceeds, distributed by percentage to schools according to the participation of students representing them, were just under $4,000 thanks to several repeat sponsors and very committed (and anonymous) cash donors and several new ones, most notably Decatur County Beef and the Community Hospital of McCook.

In addition to the sheer competition in such a difficult race - the mile -  which I consider to be the “longest sprint”, this particular beneficiary model is designed to motivate students to participate in support of their own schools; the programs they wish to be involved in, the activities they want to see continue and succeed.


There is something special and historic about the mile distance, and something special about the mile race in Kansas. Kansas greats Jim Ryun, Wes Santee and Glenn Cunningham were world class runners and milers in particular, each having set numerous, national mile records and having run on the international stage. Each was a KU running standout. John Roscoe, also a nationally ranked University of Kansas runner, is from my Indiana hometown and ran internationally. Ryun went on to win gold in the 1968 Olympics, but perhaps most memorable, he was the first high school runner ever to break the four minute mile barrier, with a time of 3:59.0 in 1964. 

Running the Oberlin Mile, on the brick streets of Oberlin, Kansas, on a USA Track & Field certified course, in some way pays tribute to these great Kansas milers and celebrates this classic racing distance. But more importantly is what we’re trying to do here and now: Support children’s health and the school programs that are in place to support them. That’s why we have adopted the slogan “Running and Winning the Race for Fitness and Funding, One Mile at a Time.” 


The weather was perfect on race morning. Sun and a slight breeze and fairly cool temperature, though it warmed up quickly. Wheat harvest was most certainly a factor on turnout, but those in attendance were enthusiastic and cheered the runners. The family fun run and walk also saw slightly lower attendance than last year, but all who participated seemed to enjoy it immensely. There were several who seemed to run this leisurely segment as if racing; even one young boy ran it after running the competitive event.  Thanks to the Legion Riders of Oberlin the race saw a colorful and loud start, with US flags adorning the motorcycles leading the runners.


As for the future, I am hopeful TOM - The Oberlin Mile - will continue to grow and draw runners from a wider area, and still grow in attraction for local participants. Smaller crowds are part of getting started, but this is a great event and an important cause. With buy-in from the community, leadership from the Soles on the Sappa and other local volunteers, I think the Oberlin Mile can have a strong future.


Michael E Conner, 2014-2015 Race Director and Founder, TOM

Founder, Mile With A Mission