One of the most famous track and field competitions will be starting on Thursday, April 27. Featuring teams and competitors of all ages from across the country, the Penn Relays will be as exciting as ever, especially with some top-tier talent competing this year.
Devon Allen, a former Olympian and NCAA star, will be competing this year in the Men’s 110-meter hurdles. Allen is no stranger to this event, having won three US national championships in 2014 and 2018, as well as at the 2016 Olympic Trials. He also won NCAA championships in 2014 and 2016 in the same event.
What makes Allen even more intriguing is his status as a dual-sport athlete. While at the University of Oregon, Allen played wide receiver for the Ducks' football team in addition to being on the track and field team. In his first year as a wide receiver, he caught 41 passes for 684 yards and seven touchdowns. And in April 2022, Allen signed a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. After spending training camp with the team, Allen was on the practice squad for much of the regular season, but re-signed with the Eagles for next season in February.
“I think, you know, a year on the practice squad gave me some time to develop … contributing a lot more and be able to make plays and help,” Allen said. He also explained how he’s preparing as a professional in two demanding sports. “I mean, the last eight weeks, I've been mostly focused on getting back into track shape, and sprinting.”
Unfortunately for Allen, he will have a quick turnaround as preparation for the NFL season will begin “starting Monday. I'll be back in [Philadelphia] for [the] off-season [program], training for OTAs and so kind of doing the dual sport thing that I did all of last season even leading up into world champs…I did pretty well last year, still competing well and fast.”
Allen is the clear favorite for the Olympic Development men's 110m hurdles and will have a plethora of support in the stands including some of his Eagles teammates.
“This year, especially with OTAs starting this week and most of my teammates being in town, a lot of them have already texted me saying…we're gonna come out,” he said.
The Olympic Development men’s 110m hurdles elite will take place around 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, which is the final day of competition. The event, as well as the rest of the Penn Relays, will be broadcast on NBC Sports Philadelphia and FloSports
“I just look forward to that atmosphere again and hopefully put a show on for my teammates so they can see what I do in person,” Allen said.