EL's Allen captures the elusive 800 meter title

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LEWISTON — After coming so close to winning the 800 meters at the 2015 Class A Indoor Track and Field Championships, and after missing the 2017 event because of injury, Edward Little’s Russell Allen was looking for redemption in his final shot in 2018.

He did what he set out to do and captured the 800-meter race with a time of 2:00.25, setting a new personal record in the process.

He also ran the 4×200 at states and helped the Red Eddies to a 16th-place finish. During the season, he had wins in the one- and two-mile races, two second-place finishes in the 400-meter dash and a third-place finish in a 200-meter dash.

Allen didn’t start racing the 800 meters this season until the end of the season, with just a meet in late January and the KVAC Championships before the state meet. Allen also captured victories in both of those races.

“I was hoping to run the 800 a little bit earlier this season, but meet scheduling and injuries kind of messed that up a little bit,” Allen said. “Late in the season, I knew I wanted to run the 800, get a qualifying time then run at the KVACs, try to get a good time there then go to states to see what I could do.”

The win qualified him for the 1,000-meter competition at the New England Championships in Boston on March 3, where he finished 21st with a time of 2:41.87

By the time New Englands came around, Allen had little left in the gas tank.

“I kind of peaked a little early by the time New Englands came,” Allen said. “I was on a downward spiral I guess. It wasn’t my best race, but it was still a fun experience.”

Coach Angela Jalbert relied heavily on Allen’s experience this winter as a distance runner, since none of the coaches on the staff specialize in distance running.

“He was also in charge of our whole distance crew,” Jalbert said. “That’s the other thing about him because he knows how to plan his route and plan what days need to be light days and what days need to be heavy days on his own, he was in charge of our distance crew.”

Allen is unsure if he’s going run track next season at the college level, but for his efforts this winter, Allen is the 2017-18 Sun Journal All-Region Boys’ Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

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Russell Allen

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