Two years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic, we reported on the exploits of Kingsway track and field athlete Sam Allen. After finishing second to Sean Glaze, the defending national champion, in the 1-Mile Racewalk at the winter track national championships by 2-hundredths of a second, he won the spring track national championship in the 3000-meter racewalk, defeating defending champion Glaze with the 19th fastest time in US high school history. This was his third All-American selection.
He subsequently went on to finish second in the US Junior National Championships to Jordan Crawford, the best collegiate racewalker in the United States, to qualify for the Pan-American Games in San Jose, Costa Rica. At the Pan-American Games, he finished in ninth place and defeated Crawford by over a minute.
A week later, Allen finished sixth at the US Senior National Championships in the 10,000-meter Racewalk against the professionals. A month later, he led the United States under-20 racewalking team to a win at the Can-American Match Race in Philadelphia.
He ended that spring season as the fastest male high school racewalker in the United States in the 3,000-meter, 5,000-meter, and 10,000-meter walks and was named as the national high school racewalker of the year. After losing his senior year to the pandemic, he moved on to Cornell University where he finished sixth at the US Olympic Trials in the 20-kilometer racewalk as the youngest competitor in the field.
Sam Allen left Kingsway looking like the future of United States racewalking on the men’s side.
Well, it appears that his successor has stepped up, and not only does he call Kingsway home, but he also happens to live in the same house as Sam Allen.
Sam’s younger brother, Ryan, has followed in his brother’s footsteps and also has excelled at the family business.
Ryan, who will be a senior at Kingsway this fall, started dabbling in the racewalk as a freshman. Last year, he quietly recorded one of the fastest winter racewalk mile times in the US and was named a high school All-American. However, with winter nationals being cancelled three days before the meet due to the pandemic, Ryan lost the chance to show his stuff on the national stage.
With restrictions being lifted, Ryan finally has been able to show what he can do. During this past winter season, Ryan traveled to Virginia to compete in the 1-mile national championships, where he walked away with his first national title. Earlier this month, Ryan flew across the country to the University of Oregon where he locked up with the best high school racewalkers in the US. He easily won his first outdoor national title.
“I finally felt like I was able to do something significant on a national level,” said Allen. “I actually thought about putting aside racewalking before the pandemic. However, I took one last opportunity to really concentrate on upping the intensity and quantity of my walking in order to take one last shot at doing something special.”
“While it was extremely painful, it definitely was worth that pain,” continue Allen. “It was a big deal to walk away from Oregon as the national champion”.
As he still has a full year of competition ahead of him, Ryan looks to try to match the lofty times that his brother put up while he was in high school. However, he also is interested in trying to continue the fantastic tradition that his family has started locally and beyond.
“This win was not so much for me as it was for my family and team,” said Allen. “With the pandemic stealing our opportunity to shine on the national stage last year, I was determined to bring the title back home to Kingsway”.
By Christian Lynch