Southmont’s Faith Allen will go down as one of the best runners to ever come through the Mountie program. In her four years the senior qualified for semi-state each season including this past year where she had a her best finish (29th) and best time (19:12.5) in her four trips. Late last week it was also announced by Allen that she’ll be continuing her running career at Purdue University Fort Wayne as she’ll major in biology and get to continue doing something that’s been a a big part of her life.
“When I went to visit there I really liked the team and the coaches,” Allen said of her college decision. “I feel like they have a good program going and it seemed like I’d be able to fit in with what they’re doing. Another big part of it on the academic side was being able to get a Purdue degree. Being able to feel like I’m going to Purdue and still be a little further away from home.”
Over the course of her four year career Allen has certainly racked up the accolades. She’s a four-time first-team All Sagamore Conference performer, three-time individual county champion, and this season added one more major accomplisment as this season she took home the individual SAC title for the first time in here career. On top of all of that Allen owns the 5K school record.
Throw in all of the career accolades and having a senior season to remember and Allen has offiically defended her crown as she re-peats as the 2022 Journal Review Girls Cross-Country Runner of the Year.
Allen took a minute to reflect on what has been nothing short of a stellar high school career with the Mounties.
“I think my times this season were a lot more consistent than they have been in the past,” Allen said. “Going into college, it’s nice to be able that consistency going in my favor. I would have loved to qualify for state but to have my best showing was good. Winning conference this year was an awesome feat for me to be able to write my name in the history books. It was a special moment that I’ll remember.”
Something about these past four years that has probably tops anything that Allen accomplished on the course was the fact that she got experience her success with her biggest cheerleader by her side. That would be mom and Southmont coach Shelley Allen. For Shelley getting to be by her daughters side every step of the way is something that she has cherished.
“She’s the reason I started coaching,” Shelley said. “We saw the talent that Faith had as she was moving up through middle school and the program needed a coach and I wasn’t going to let the program die. Being able to say I get paid to be my daughter’s biggest fan, you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
Not many runners like Faith are expected to be the leader of the program on the course. From her the first race of her freshman year, the expectations were high for Faith and she lived up to those expectations and much more throughout her entire career.
“Coming into freshman year she gave me and the team everything I expected she would,” Shelley said. “She was very driven at the junior high program and that carried over into her high school career. She pushed herself just as hard when she got up here and you saw that at every race she competed in and even at practice. She wanted to get better when no one was watching her.”
When all is said and done as stated at the begin, Faith will go down as one of if not the greateat female XC runner to come through the program. That’s something that she doesn’t take lightly as she knows the significance of her accomplishments.
“It’s very surreal for me to be recognized like that,” she said. “I’ve been working really hard to get my name up there with some of the best to come through South. I want to leave a makr on the school and hopefully it will be there for quite some time.”
Lastly Faith talked about the relationship that her mom and her have built these last four years. It’s something that will last a lifetime and no one can take away that special bond that only grew stronger.
“I think anyone who has had a parent as a coach will tell you that believe it or not there are some bad that comes with the good,” Faith said as she cracked a smile. “Having that relationship where I can talk to her about anything both cross country and non-cross country related. I obviously didn’t have to build that relationship with a coach but when I move on to college it’s going to be exciting and a good experience for me to have someone else guide me and be able to help me improve.”
Allen hasn’t raced her last race of her Mountie career just yet. She still has the spring track and field season to enjoy as she’ll wrap up her historic Mountie career.