Kingsway graduate Sam Allen placed 6th in the 20,000-meter racewalk Saturday morning at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon.
Allen, a 2020 Kingsway graduate who recently finished his freshman year at Cornell, covered the 12.4-mile course in Springfield, Ore., in a personal-best 1:37.59.
With 1,000 meters to go, Bricyn Healey had closed to within eight seconds of Allen, but Allen closed in 4:52 for his final kilometer, holding off Healey by 19 seconds for a top-six finish.
His kilometer splits ranged from 4:31 for the first 1,000 to a couple 5:22s for his 17th and 19th kilometers.
Allen, who just turned 19 on May 6 and races for Shore Athletic Club, was the youngest competitor in the field of 15 walks who qualified.
The race was won by 20-year-old Nick Christie, who finished in 1:30.48, more than a minute ahead of Daniel Nehnevaj.
Allen’s previous best over a 20,000-meter course was 1:38.26, which he recorded last month in Manchester Township, N.J.
Allen was not projected to finish in the top 10 by Track and Field News, so a 6th-place finish is quite an achievement for the Woolwich Township native.
Allen was the first South Jersey walker to compete in the Olympic Trials since Willingboro native Cliff Mimm in 1988. His father Bob was a member of the 1960 Olympic team.
At Kingsway, Allen competed in both track and XC in addition to independent racewalking. He was 6th man on the 2019 Kingsway cross country team that placed third at Group 4 sectionals.