Forestville cross country runner loves to run -- Gazette.Net


Some 10 years ago while watching his older brother Mark Allen compete in a track meet in Baltimore, Forestville Military Academy’s Shaun Allen became enamored with the sport of running.

So much so that he has eschewed all other sports and instead spent numerous hours training in the quest of achieving elite status. This fall, all of that hard work finally paid off in cross country.

Allen finished his senior high school season by being crowned the best runner at the Prince George’s County championship meet and the Class 1A South Region meet. He also finished in fifth at the state meet at the always tough Hereford High School course.

“I had a wonderful final year,” Allen said. “I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to running cross country and track in college. I’m looking at Morgan State and at University of Pittsburgh.”

Allen, who competes in the 800 meters, mile and two-mile runs for the school’s indoor and outdoor track teams, cruised through the Fort Washington Park course in a time of 17 minutes, 11.6 seconds to win the county title by roughly 28 seconds over runner-up Terrell Green of Frederick Douglass.

“That was my goal,” Allen said. “I want to get outdoor and indoor county titles as well.”

Allen’s margin of victory was by nearly a minute at the region meet as he finished ahead Eyoseyas Afework of Baltimore’s Northwestern, 17:35-18:20.

“He works hard every day and he just follows directions,” Forestville coach Austin Gibbs said. “He’s a very good athlete. He’s one of those extraordinary runners you see every three or four years. He doesn’t complain and he comes to practice every day to do the workout he is expected to do. It’s always good to have an athlete like that.

“He’s good in the classroom and his parents support him. If you don’t have the support or you’re mediocre in the classroom, it causes a problem.”

Allen improved by 19 places at states from last year to this season while finishing the Hereford course in 17:37.5.

“It was really tough and I really didn’t expect to get that spot,” Allen said. “I ran the course my junior year and I barely made getting a medal [for being top 25]. The hills and just being up there at the school, it’s very fun and challenging.”