This time last year, Devon Allen was stamping his name in the NCAA record books. Originally a football recruit to the University of Oregon, he won his first NCAA and USA titles as a freshman in the 110-meter hurdles in 2014. Two years later, he returned from a torn ACL to win his second pair of tites, including the U.S. Olympic Trials which catapulted him to 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He finished fifth in the Olympic final.
Last fall, to the delight of track fans (and football rivals) across the country, Allen announced that he was forgoing his remaining collegiate eligibility in both sports to embark on a pro track career. His goals are unambiguous: “to run track for the next couple years, then at the 2020 Olympics win a gold medal, have the world record” before potentially returning to the gridiron.
So how will Allen pump himself up en route to that coveted hardware? With “low-key music,” it turns out, “because I warm up slowly and I don’t want to get too excited before I actually compete.”
His favorite artists right now are Frank Ocean, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar and this is what he has to say about his go-to pre-race songs:
- Can’t have everything by Drake is probably my pump up song that I like to listen to if I’m really trying to get pumped up and ready to hurdle during practice for a meet.
- Sweet Life and Nights by Frank Ocean are some of my favorite songs and my coach Jamie Cook likes Frank Ocean so it’s funny to have him sing to the songs I play at practice.
- A few of the songs like Everybody Loves the Sunshine and Family Affair were songs my dad listened to in the car when I was younger so I know all the words and they just make me feel good.
Find the rest of Allen’s pre-race playlist below. Don’t miss the track by fellow Olympic teammate Will Claye!
(Warning: Though best experienced with volume all the way up, some songs are not meant for sensitive ears.)