Over the past two weekends our Men and Women's Track and Field program have be hard at work kicking off our 2017 Indoor Track Season. The Indoor season started with a "rust buster" at Missouri Southern in Joplin, MO where we had ten Red Devil Athletes perform. Top performances included two great showings by sophomore Ke'Voughn Manning, racing in the 200 meter dash and the 60 meter dash. Ke'Voughn crossed the line with times of 22.96 seconds placing him 16th overall out of 120 competitors in the 200 and 7.06 seconds placing him 19th overall out of 107 competitors in the 60. Ke'Voughn's performance was followed by teammates Caleb Lovejoy and Cole Brockman, the two Red Devil's raced the 600 meter run in a time of 1:21.95 and 1:22.20. The meet highlights are capped off with a 4:33.08 one mile run by Allen County Freshman Paul Becker. Paul ran the mile extremely well-paced and found himself just around 4th place in the finals laps of the race, with an extremely strong and assertive push Paul was able to overtake 1st place in the closing lap of the race and hold off Friends University Sophomore Damien Hiser. The mile was ran in two heats and when the second heat was final Paul finished in a respectable 18th place out of 84 competitors. Other Allen Red Devils competing at Missouri Southern include Ade Osagiede, Keshema Fleming, Asha Alvarez, Tommy Jacobs, Carlton Tarpley and Eddie Gutierrez.
The following weekend was a double header, our Allen Red Devils competed both at the Jayhawk Classic on Friday the 27th and at the Pittsburg State Invite on Saturday the 28th. Top performances at the Jayhawk Classic included Freshman Eddie Gutierrez who answered his subpar mile run the previous week with a perfectly executed mile placing himself 2nd overall at the meet in a time of 4:34.93. Eddie started his race much more relaxed and tucked in to the chase pack, when it was time to start gunning for the leader Eddie made a pass and didn't look back. The bar was set by a freshman and it was time a sophomore stepped up and competed to his or her potential, the bar was met by Sophomore Ka'Ven Berry in the 200 meter dash. Ka'Ven racing against the JUCO sprint power house Barton County with previous Allen Sprint Coach Tony Davis, was able to best the Barton Athlete with a time of 22.47. Ka'Ven's time placed him 3rd overall out of 22 competitors including teammate Ke'Voughn Manning in 8th place. The last mentionable performance of the Jayhawk Classic was not so much about a strong finish or competitive placing but of effort and willingness. Freshman Cierra Bennett, a middle distance and distance runner for our Allen Red Devils, came to the coaching staff and insisted she compete in the Long Jump. Cierra had not competed in a jumping event or even attempted a practice jump since the previous year as a senior in High School. She got her steps down and attacked the runway every time. Though her attempts were not up to the meets minimum leaving her without an actual measurement, Cierra proved that she could have success with in the conference and will continue to jump for our Lady Devil's. Other Performances by our Red Devils included a young and competitive 3000 meter run by freshman Ben Lucier, Ludreche Bounga and Alex Ruiz. Other's competing and not mentioned include Kim Rodriguez, Cole Brockman, Anthony Glasgow, Andy Thermidor, Maria Puente, Jaelyn Casanova, Caleb Lovejoy, Gemma Gonzalez, Brandun Douglas, Tommy Jacobs, Shatorri Faison and Ade Osagiede.
The weekend continued and the Red Devil's traveled to Pittsburg State University, the host of the upcoming Jayhawk Conference and Region 6 Championships, as well as the NJCAA National Indoor Track Meet. The PSU Indoor Facility is a one of a kind spectacle here in the state of Kansas and even throughout the Midwest with its 300 meter length. Excited to run fast and show off some of our strongest distance talents, the Red Devils came out swinging in the 5k on both the Women and Men's side. Leading the way was sophomore Kaitlyn Shoemaker with a new school record of 17:29.93! Kaitlyn has been one of the Red Devil's top runners in program history and has cemented herself in to the record books with this time. Coach DeGrado mentioned that he believed she could possibly break into the 17 minutes if the race was controlled and fast paced but to do what she did was unpredictable. Kaitlyn's time placed her 2nd overall behind Oklahoma Christian University Senior Layne Hammer. This unbelievable performance was soon mimicked by freshman Paul Becker. Paul racing in a D2/NAIA loaded 5k was able to control the pace and come out with a time of 15:07.34! This time placed Paul 10th overall in the race and 2nd overall on the Red Devil's Best Performance List. The freshman now has his heart eagerly set on breaking into the 14 minute range in the races to come! With the distance runners setting the tone of the meet it was time for the sprinters to get in the mix. First up was the 600 yard run, competing was Ka'ven Berry and Chris Martin. The two showed up and ran competitive times of 1:12.29 for Ka'Ven placing 6th overall and 1:13.92 for Chris placing 15th overall. Last but not least were the relays teams, the Red Devil's Men's 4x400 and Women's Distance Medley (DMR). The Men's 4x400 was constructed of Ke'Voughn Manning, Chris Martin, Ka'Ven Berry and Vinny Butera. With a true team effort the Men's 4x400 ran a time of 3:17.65, qualifying them for the NJCAA National Meet. Also qualifying was the previously mentioned Women's DMR, the DMR was constructed of Hannah Johnson, Keshema Fleming, Maria Puente and Kaitlyn Shoemaker. They Lady Devils compiled a time of 12:58.38. Other mentionable performances were the Men's DMR that with difficulties still almost managed to qualify for the National meet, missing the time by 1 second! The time will be reached by the talented group of runners, we are sure of that.