Megan Ferguson ‘19: Senior year; the last year to run in high school meets, the last year to make it on the record board, the last year to place at states. Running his final year of cross country for Romeo, Brenden Allen placed 16th at the cross country state championship meet, running a time of 15:42

Running in the cross country state meet is a goal that every high school runner strives for. Not only does reaching this level show your durability as a runner, but it also displays the hard work and time that was put into the sport. Crossing the finish line 16th out of 245 other runners, is an immense victory.

“Right at the end of the race, I just reflected on the race as a whole, wondering where the team finished, and how I did individually in head to head match ups,” Brenden Allen ‘18 said.

Beginning to train after track ended on June 30th, Allen runs approximately 55-60 miles a week.

“I do train everyday,” Allen said. “A typical week within the season consists of 3-4 easy runs [for recovery], 2-3 workouts [tempo, speed, and, interval] and a long run. We also incorporate 2 days a week of aqua jogging and a strength routine.”

Not only is cross country a physical sport, but it also has many mental components as well. Having the right mentality during a race can help you stay calm under pressure and maintain your focus, both of which help you to achieve your best time.

“Before a race, I usually am quiet and just focus on the race plan and what needs to be accomplished on that day,” Allen said. “I like to keep everything from eating the same breakfast [oatmeal and a bagel], to keeping the warm up and pre-race events all the same, it has worked in the past meets.”

Supporting him at the race included some members of the cross country team and his parents.

“My biggest supporters are my parents, always being there for me, followed by strong support from my coaches and teammates,” Allen said.

As bittersweet as senior year can be, Allen took the best out of this cross country season.

“I have enjoyed this cross country season to its fullest, and from the day I started running here [Romeo], it has been a great experience. From the team accepting me in, and the coaches [Mike Buslepp and Josh Eccleston] providing the tools for me to succeed and being great mentors to myself and the team,” Allen said. “This will be a team I will never forget and I will remember all of the memories made over the years.”

As Allen’s last year of running high school cross country comes to a close, he looks forward to what the future brings.

“Right now I am in the process of scheduling official visits for colleges that I have been in contact with,” Allen said. “It will be exciting to move on to a new chapter on the collegiate level to bring new experiences to the table academically and athletically.”

Ending his high school cross country career on a high note, Allen has already begun preparing for what his future in running will bring.

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