Devon Allen celebrates after winning the men's 110-meter hurdle finals at the USATF NYC Grand Prix on June 12, 2022 in New York City.
NEW YORK – Devon Allen became the third fastest high hurdler of all time and sprinters Aleia Hobbs, Sha’Carri Richardson, Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman posted blazing fast times to highlight the USATF NYC Grand Prix on Sunday.
The meet, part of the World Athletics Continental Tour, was a chance for American athletes to get in one final competition ahead of the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships. That meet, to be held June 23-26 in Eugene, Oregon, will select the U.S. team for the World Athletics Championships in July. The world championships will also be held in Eugene, the first time the U.S. has hosted that meet.
Though the initial forecast called for rain on Sunday, the weather cooperated, and athletes were treated to warm and sunny conditions at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island. Tail winds that were favorable but still within the legal limits gave the sprinters and hurdlers a helpful boost.
The biggest beneficiary was Allen, who clocked 12.84 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles, obliterating his previous personal best of 12.99 and becoming the third-fastest performer of all time. A two-time Olympic finalist who finished fifth at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 and 4th at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, he now trails only world-record holder Aries Merritt (12.80) and 2019 world champion Grant Holloway (12.81) on the all-time list. Holloway finished second on Sunday, clocking a season’s best 13.06.
Allen recently signed a three-year deal to play wide receiver with the Philadelphia Eagles and is simultaneously training for two sports — which has put a considerable strain on his body. A bout with COVID-19 two weeks ago forced him to lay low, and ironically that may have helped him come to New York well rested.
“I’ve been feeling it for about six weeks, just some heavy legs,” said Allen, who excelled at both sports as a student at the University of Oregon. “I’ve been trying to do four days of football, Monday through Thursday, and then my off days were on the track, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I didn’t really have any rest.”
He plans to join the Eagles full time after the world championships in July, and he believes that splitting his focus with football has actually helped him with the track. “I think it makes me more relaxed and it focuses me up.
When I’m doing so much, like football and track, trying balance it both, I need to be really cautious about my recovery, my sleep, my diet, everything like that,” Allen said. “It had me locked in little bit more, which obviously is working out.”