Penn Hills thrower Allen set for 3rd WPIAL championship meet

Thursday, May 9, 2019 | 7:14 PM

When Penn Hills senior Lillia Allen was asked how to describe her high school athletic career, Allen had only two words — rocky and crazy.

After missing all of her junior year with a shoulder surgery, Allen will make her third appearance at WPIALs. Allen will look to qualify for her second trip to states at the WPIAL Class AAA track and field championships Thursday at Slippery Rock.

Allen, a Dayton recruit, has battled back from missing last season and will once again compete in the shot put and discus.

While the shoulder isn’t bothering her this year, Allen is battling through a shin splint that has put her in a walking boot and will alter her technique for the remainder of the season. Allen runs the risk of further damage that could create a stress fracture.

“I’m a little nervous because I have to do standing throws and rely on standing throws to get me into states. I’ve never done that before. I’ve always done rotation to get me into states,” Allen said.

During her sophomore year, Allen finished second in the shot put with a toss of 43 feet 1 inch at WPIALs and 11th-place at states (38-10.75).

In the discus, Allen finished third with a 125-5 throw at WPIALs and finished fourth with a 137-11 mark at states.

The shoulder injury from her junior year occurred at the beginning of the track season and a month before a track meet. Allen had surgery in April 2018 and was out of action until December.

While her teammates were competing in the indoor track and field season, Allen was easing herself back into action.

This season, Allen finished second in the shot put (39-10.50) at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association outdoor meet at West Mifflin on April 13. Allen finished behind South Park’s Maura Huwalt (43-10).

In the discus, Allen finished third (122-8) behind Huwalt (145-06) and Bethel Park’s Sarah Gilliam (124-09).

A week later, Allen improved in both events as she finished second in the shot put (40-10) and third in the discus (125-09) at the Rock Relays at Slippery Rock University on April 20.

Recently, Allen finished in third in the discus (117-8) and fifth in the shot put (30-02) at the Baldwin Invitational on May 3.

“I’m not really satisfied because I know I can hit 46 in the shot put and hit 140-150 in discus, but it’s the technique. I need serious work on it,” Allen said.

Allen not only missed a whole year of competing because of the shoulder injury, but Allen thought she missed out on going to a NCAA Division I track and field program since the injury occurred during a critical year in the recruitment process.

However, Allen explained Dayton reached out to her late in the process. In April, she visited the campus and provided her commitment to the track and field program.

“I got lucky and got into a really good college,” she said. “It almost hurt me not getting into a college. I pulled through my senior year, and I really busted out where a really good college was able to find me.”

Aside from Dayton, Allen was mulling offers from Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and IUP. Allen looks to be a triple treat for the Flyers, as she will compete in the shot put, discus and hammer throw.

Before she steps on Dayton’s campus, Allen has some unfinished business as she seeks to compete in the PIAA championships May 24 at Shippensburg.


More High School Track and Field

Penn Hills notebook: Hurdler gets redemption with WPIAL gold
Gateway’s Dino Nadarevic to compete in shot put, discus at PIAA championships
Shaler athletes find their niche on track team
Girls relay team uses home-track advantage to win at Baldwin Invitational
Quaker Valley track shows depth with large crop of WPIAL qualifiers