Devon Allen finished off his inaugural Olympics in Rio with an appearance in the men's 110 hurdles final, or to many the biggest stage of his young career. The two-time US champion was joined by Team USA teammate Ronnie Ash, as well as training partner and former UO teammate Jonathan Cabral, who was running for Team Canada.
Olympic favorite Omar McLeod of Jamaica delivered, taking over about seven hurdles in and never looking back. McLeod ran 13.05, a somewhat-pedestrian time to win Olympic gold. Allen (13.31) finished a disappointing fifth-place, while Cabral (13.41) finished in sixth. Halfway through Allen's trademark come-from-behind running style looked like it could launch him onto an Olympic podium, but the world's best held strong and Allen couldn't stay with them.
Both the Oregon community and American media at large embraced Allen's run through the US trials to the Olympic finals and marveled at the two-sport athlete's incredible potential. It seemed like a fairytale as it unfolded, everyone talking about what the 21-year-old could eventually accomplish as he regularly beat professional athletes over his summer break. Throughout, Allen raised our own expectations, as he went from just another NCAA champion to an Olympic gold medal contender in a few months' time. Allen only allowed for a 'disappointment' by achieving the unthinkable in the process, winning a second US title and running the second-fastest time in the world back in July.
After the experience of a lifetime, Allen will return to the gridiron for the Ducks. It is unclear what will happen with his track career, as he has the option to turn pro while keeping amateur status in football. One thing is certain, this won't be an experience Allen will soon forget. Judging by the reactions, it won't be one his teammates and the Eugene faithful will forget either. Going back to Oregon as an undergrad and a top-five athlete in your event in the world isn't so bad a consolation prize.
Devon Allen, junior in college: Probably kinda bummed to finish 5th at Olympics.— Jonathan Adams (@JonathanAdams) August 17, 2016
Me, as a junior: thrilled to climb stairs without tripping