Amy Allen thought the encounter was amusing.
As the South Fayette senior started her warm-up routine before settling into the starting blocks at a recent track invitational, Allen introduced herself to the competitors in the lanes immediately to her left and right.
“Oh man, you are the good one,” said the one.
“It’s over,” said the other.
“You are going to be fine,” she said. “You have nothing to worry about.”
Unfortunately for her opponents, Allen’s best often is a record-breaking gold medal performance.
“It was so funny to me because track is all about personal records,” Allen said of the incident. “Your attitude toward it should be about doing your best.”
Allen holds school records in the 300-meter hurdles (44.94), 200 indoor dash (25.82), 400 indoor run (56.60) and 60-meter hurdles (9.20). She has also anchored three record-setting relays – 4x100 (48.98), 4x400 (3:55) and 4x200 (1:44.34).
Most recently, Allen won the 400-meter dash in 57.29 and came right back to anchor the 4x100 relay team of Dea Monz, Schumaker, and Olivia Renk to victory in 49.45 during the prestigious Baldwin Invitational. Allen also secured a silver-medal in the 300 hurdles.
“It wasn’t a PR day, but I was happy with my performances,” Allen said of her performance at the Baldwin Invitational. “The relay was good, but the 400 was terrible because of the wind. That was the hardest 400 I have every run. It felt like I was walking at the end of the race. Then to get up and run and do the hurdles ... well, I was really worn out.”
Allen won’t be so tired when she competes in the WPIAL championships May 19 at Slippery Rock University.
She will not run in three consecutive races. Individually, she is entered in the 400 and 200 dashes. She will also anchor the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Allen will skip the hurdles, an event in which she took third in the district and ninth at states as a sophomore.
“Definitely bittersweet,” she said of her absence from the hurdles.
“It’s very difficult to do all those events in a row,” she continued. “The fact that I did it at Baldwin helped me mentally but could I do them to the best of my ability (at WPIALs)?”
Allen has targeted her best times for the district and state championships.
At WPIALs, she is looking to break school marks in the 400 and 200 as well as the 4x400 relay record.
At the PIAA championships to be held May 28-29 at Shippensburg University, she plans on placing in the top 8 in the 400 and better in the 200.
“Amy is one of the top athletes in the state and she’s doing exactly what we had thought she would do this season,” said SF track coach Scott Litwinovich.
“Amy is really versatile. She has four individual events that she can easily medal in and probably win and as a member of two really teams she puts those girls in the same position. It’s a great problem to have.
“Ultimately, her success will be measured on how she finishes at the state championships. So our thoughts are that we put her in the best situation to have her greatest success at that meet.”
Allen’s mom, Eileen, ran track at Upper St. Clair High School. Her father, Bill, played football at St. Francis University.
Allen started her athletic career playing soccer in kindergarten. She developed into an All-WPIAL defender and a four-year letter winner for the Lions. She picked up track in the seventh grade. She supplemented both activities with competitive cheerleading.
“Honestly, that helped me so much,” she said. “Since I was a base, I did a lot of the lifting so it really helped develop my leg muscles for track.”
Although COVID-19 canceled last year’s track season, Allen said that time enabled her to develop an efficient schedule. She designated time to regular lifting and routine track work.
“I know I have a good mindset about working hard,” she said. “That’s the thing I like about track. How much you put into it, is what you get out of it. You can see results pay off in the end.”
Allen’s dedication has paid dividends in the form of an athletic scholarship to Duquesne University.
“Amy is a special talent,” Litwinovich said. “I can’t say enough about how proud I am of her, her attitude, work ethic, leadership and her service to the team.”