E.A. Sports Today

Hurdling far

Weaver’s Allen, a state champion in both hurdling events, set to complete in New Balance Nationals at University of Pennsylvania.

Cover photo: Weaver High’s KeShawn Allen does a walkthru for the New Balance Nationals on Thursday at the University of Pennsylvania. (Submitted photo)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

KeShawn Allen can handle hurdles. That much he proved during the high school track season.

He does it so well that he earned the right to hurdle 850 miles to compete in a national competition.

The Weaver High senior and his high school coach, Beau Winn, flew to Philadelphia on Wednesday in advance of Allen’s crack at the New Balance Nationals, on the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field.

“It’s kind of crazy that I’m a small-town kid, roaming around in this big city and seeing all of these sites,” Allen said. “I’m excited and excited to run.”

Allen was one of 72 high school hurdlers to qualify nationally. Allen beat the 110-meter hurdle qualifying time of 14.30 seconds when he ran a 14.23 at a high school meet in Scottsboro.

“I knew about the meet before the season started, and it was kind of my goal to hit that mark,” Allen said. “Once I ran at Scottsboro and saw that I had beat that time to qualify, I was kind of jumping up and down about it.

“Even though I lost, and I came in second in that race, I wasn’t even mad about it. Just glad that I hit a new PR and qualified.”

Allen will compete at the same host site for the Penn Relays. His first heat goes off Saturday at 10 a.m.

Allen got his complementary backpack and did warmups starting Thursday.

“He just kind of got familiar with that field and the layout,” said Winn, who will run in a coaches’ mile run. “It’s beautiful up there. There’s so much history built into that stadium. It’s kind of surreal.

Weaver High’s KeShawn Allen familiarizes himself with the Franklin Field track, at the University of Pennsylvania. (Submitted photo)

Allen finished first in the 110 hurdles at the Alabama Class 3A state meet in May at Cullman, and teammate Harper Williams took third. Allen and Weaver teammates Kaden Gooden and Williams swept podium spots in the 300 hurdles.

“Those three pushing each other is something to see,” Winn said. “I’m just blessed, and you hear that often from me, especially with these boys, and they work hard.”

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