HBCU Buzz

Olympic Hopeful Allen Dooms Runs With Purpose

Allen Dooms, A Charlottesville Virginia native, knows without what he was put on this earth for, and that’s to run. He has no problem letting anyone know, that Track and Field is his calling. It is his hopes that instead of telling, he can show what he has to offer in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

Always having an interest in being an athlete, strangely enough Dooms hadn’t been good enough at any other sport to progress for the long hall. Actually up until his Junior year in High School, Track and Field hadn’t even crossed his mind, he had dreams of becoming a Meteorologist. It was Allen’s brother Clifton Dooms who had been carving a lane for himself on their high school track team. After watching his brother’s success, Allen became fascinated , and  joined the team. “I wasn’t that good at first, but then I saw an opportunity to go to college, and you can get a scholarship for it. That’s what got me liking the sport, it was a window of opportunity for me.” Window of opportunity it was indeed, but not without an obstacle filled start.bme-olympic-215x215 (1)

After several  attempts at finding his niche with other colleges, Dooms attended Harcum Junior College. Spending only a year and a half there and coming out on top with good grades, he was the pick of the litter to a plethora of 4 year colleges. His shot came when  he was offered a scholarship to Radford University.

Excelling beyond measure at Radford, Allen shattered the school’s track records for their 100 meter dash, 60 meter dash, and 4×4 relay. After he and his time at Radford had ran its course, he made the decision to attend Virginia Union University for Graduate School, and run his last year of eligibility with the HBCU. Dooms majors in Theology at Virginia Union’s well known School of Divinity. “I just want to be a light in somebody’s life.”

Sonia: Talk to me about the differences between attending a PWI (Radford University) and an HBCU (Virginia Union University.)

Allen: There were a lot of differences, good differences. I got to see something different about who I am as a person. [At Radford] I couldn’t understand myself…I went to an HBCU,  and It helped me find myself and understand who I am just by being around my culture a little bit more. Going to Virginia Union, a school that started a year after  slavery was abolished, it made me really respect African Americans and HBCUs. If I would’ve known that back in High School, HBCUs would’ve been my first choice.

Currently taking time off from his  masters program, Allen is out to complete another mission before he goes back, and that’s a spot in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Invited to the Olympic Trials after qualifying for a spot for the 100 meter dash, Allen’s best known time to date is 10.17 seconds.

The up and coming track star notes that there are peaks and valleys on the athletic path he’s chosen.

Sonia: What are the Pros and Cons of devoting your time to Track and Field?

Allen: The pro is that it’s a great career, the con is that it’s a lot of sacrifice.

For the next few months, Allen will have to wear that sacrifice on his sleeve. The Olympic Trials will take place July first, in Eugene, Oregon. Until then, he will be in isolation training in North Carolina, 160 plus miles from family and friends. “I’m in isolation training , I’m by myself right now. I really don’t talk to my friends anymore, just because I have to stay focused. I have to be mentally and physically fit, to compete at a high level so you know you have to take a lot of social distractions.” Dooms notes that another pro for him is that it’s simply fun for him, something that he enjoys immensely.

Allen’s style of training could easily be seen as quirky. While other runners  are putting fire to the race tracks with their cleats for training, he chooses to blaze different trails. Local parks are his terrain of choice when training and as odd as it may sound, it works for him. His playlist consists of a lot of 90’s R&B that pumps through his earbuds when he runs. Last but not least he has no set training time, whenever the urge comes to run, he indulges. Odd? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely.

Dooms isn’t nervous to find out his fate for the Olympics in . Awaiting the date, he states “I know I was made to do this.”

Sonia Montalvo

Sonia Montalvo

Sonia Montalvo is an Author, Journalist, and die hard HBCU supporter. A graduate of Elizabeth City State University, her motto is "Be creative, but be factual."