Jerin Allen entered his first year at Louisville with low expectations.
The former Harrison Central High standout had an unlikely All-American season, earning first-team honors by the NCAA. He finished seventh in the high jump, clearing 2.13 meters. Allen is also the ACC High Jump Champion.
“It was a crazy year,” Allen said. “I didn’t know what to expect coming into the season. The coaches wanted me to have fun and compete my hardest.”
Allen, who led the Red Rebels to a Class 6A state track championship three years ago, graded his first year.
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“I give myself an A-minus,” Allen said. “Being an All-American is something I worked hard for. I’m a sprinter too, but I got hurt before the season started. Louisville brought me here to do more than just high jump.”
Louisville coach Dale Cowper was thrilled over Allen’s NCAA Championship debut.
“We gave him the opportunity to focus solely on the high jump,” Cowper said in a release. “Jerin has grown tremendously throughout the year and we're excited to see what he can do in his senior campaign next spring.”
The praise and success both serve as motivation for Allen, a sports administration major.
“This will catapult me into having an excellent year in 2018,” Allen said. “Hopefully, I can win the NCAA high jump championship. My goals for next year are to do well in 200 and 400 meter runs and the high jump at the NCAA Championships. I also want my teammates to come with me and run the 4X100 and 4X400 relay races.”
After graduating from Harrison Central, Allen ran track at Hinds Community College. He was a three-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-American selection. He was runner-up at the 2016 NJCAA Indoor Nationals.
“Coming from Hinds to Louisville, it seemed like a seamless transition,” Allen said. “In JUCO, I competed against the same people. I am forever thankful to the coaching staff for their belief in me and bringing me here to win a championship for this program.”