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What's Up Magazine

Athlete Worth Watching: Adam Allen, South River High School Running

Mar 13, 2017 03:12PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Tom Worgo

Going into his freshman year at South River High School, Adam Allen set a number of personal goals. Partying wasn’t one of them. Instead, he resolved to devote all of his time to sports and schoolwork, a decision that has worked well for him and his respective teams.

“I basically consume myself with sports and school,” Allen says. “I have fun, but I have it in different ways. I haven’t been to a party in high school. I really don’t go out. Sometimes, I get to hang out with my friends. It’s usually a bonus if I finish homework or a project early.”

More than two years later, it’s safe to say Allen, now a junior, has fulfilled his objectives.

The Crofton resident is a standout runner on the South River varsity cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams, and a member of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Allen also carries a 3.5 grade point average and takes advance placement courses in physics, calculus, English, and world history.

“Whatever Adam decides to do, he gives 110 percent effort,” South River cross country coach Josh Carroll says. “With an attitude like that, that’s why he’s been successful on the cross country course and in the classroom and his other endeavors. He has unique talent, but also gives a tremendous effort.”

Allen has one last big high school ambition: He would like to captain a Seahawks’ team.

Attending the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership conference at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg in May and participating in the Outward Bound Leaderships Corps in West Virginia in 2015, have helped him move closer to achieving his goal.

“I learned that you can’t really crowd the minds of men with the same message,” he explains. “You have to bend it in different ways to get the message across to a lot of people and you need to know that every person is different.

“Being excited for a race would be good for about 60 percent of my team, but the other 40 percent of my team is nervous,” he adds. “I have to find a way to make them feel better about the race and how they just have to go after it.”

The 16-year-old Allen showed some leadership qualities when he went to Crofton Middle School in May to recruit students for the South River cross country and track programs.

He wanted to let them know the great experiences he had competing at the Edgewater school.

“He took it upon himself to reach out to eighth graders who were going to become ninth graders, so they could already get a head start on running,” Carroll says of Allen, who also worked as a volunteer coach in the Crofton Athletic Council cross country program. “I thought that was pretty cool. Not a lot of kids want to do stuff like that.”

Allen, who aspires to go into law enforcement, could tell the future Seahawks about his running success at South River.

Carroll and the school’s indoor and outdoor track coach, Hugh Harris, says Allen just keeps getting better and better, including his recent cross country campaign.

The 5-foot-7, 142-pound Allen placed sixth on a 3.1-mile course in the county cross country championships in late October and finished 10th in the Class 4A regional championships in early November.

In addition, he placed second in the Doc Jones Invitational in early October.

“I would also like to see him get down below 4:30 in the mile, which he has the ability to do,” Carroll says. “If he could do that in cross country, you are talking about a potential county champion. If you are looking at track, that (4:30 mile) would be in the top three in the county.”

Allen earned Anne Arundel County Coaches Association All-County honors as a sophomore in both cross country and indoor track.

“He is always at practice working hard,” says Harris, who also coaches the South Rivers girls cross country team. “Sometimes, he works a little too hard. He’s learned how to pace himself better. During his freshman year, he was on the go all the time.”

Allen loves to tell the story of how he fell in love in running.

“I came out and ran apparently what was the fastest time any freshman has ever run at on the first day of tryouts for the mile,” he recalls. “So I was put on varsity, and that’s where my whole world changed.”