Allen’s run ends at semis

By PAUL HINES paul.hines@register-news.com

WICHITA, KAN. — Mt. Vernon’s Spencer Allen advanced to the semifinals at the USATF Junior Olympics Track and Field Championships in Kansas this weekend.

“It was awesome,” Allen said of the trip. “It was an awesome experience to have and prelims went really good.”

Allen, competing for SI Speed, was eliminated in the semifinals in the 110 meter high hurdles young men’s division. He started the weekend on Saturday with a 10th-place finish in the first round of the event with a time of 14.47 seconds. A total of 52 runners competed in the 110 high hurdles in the first round, and 24 qualified for the semifinals later Saturday afternoon.

In the semifinals, Allen placed 12th with a time of 14.54 seconds. The top eight qualified for the final. The eighth-place time was 14.29 seconds. The competitors on Saturday had to run in 105-degree heat.

“I still ran one of my better times of the year so I can’t complain,” Allen said. “But I kind of expected to run a little faster and maybe make it into the finals. But, you know, what happened happened.”

Allen will be entering his senior year at Mt. Vernon, and said the competition he faced this weekend will help him as he concludes his track career.

“It shows me that I can compete against the top of the top and the best of the best,” Allen said. “Nobody really intimidates me anymore and so I just look at it that it gives me a lot more confidence in what I’m doing.”

Mt. Vernon coach Clint Turner added that experience in national event like the one in Kansas will help the most during the state finals, if Allen can qualify again this coming spring.

“He’s not awestruck,” Turner said. “Experience is something that you can’t have enough of.”