It’s a good news-bad news situation for 2013 Liberal Pancake Race winner Caitlin Demarest, who had planned to run again this year but has now dropped out of the race.
Demarest, assistant women’s basketball coach at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School, saw her Lady Saints win handily, 90-36, over the Neosho County Panthers in the opening game of the Region VI Tournament Saturday. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that due to travel time and practice needs for the team’s next game, Demarest has withdrawn from the International Pancake Race. The Lady Saints will play Barton County in Wichita on Wednesday, and Demarest feared her coaching duties would prevent her from staying through to the end of all Pancake Day events on Tuesday, were she to win. The race winner each year attends the shriving service, followed by a live web chat with the Olney winner, and is then the guest of honor in the parade.
Does this development give Olney an edge to continue its two-year streak, or will one of Liberal’s nine racers rise to the challenge and claim the International title for Liberal this year?
The 65th International Pancake Day Race between the women of Liberal, Kans., and Olney, England, at 11:55 a.m. Tuesday will answer that question.
Olney’s Devon Byrne won the 2013 International title, besting Liberal winner Caitlin Demarest and setting a new record time. Byrne finished in 56 seconds flat to win over Demarest’s time of 64.3 seconds.
Byrne broke the previous record of 57.5 set by Tasha Gallegos of Liberal in 2009. Last year marked Byrne’s second win. If she wins this year, she will retire from the Pancake Race, according to the rules.