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Allenson Majors in Versatility for Keene State Teams

Junior Katie Allenson has excelled as a two-sport athlete at Keene State
Junior Katie Allenson has excelled as a two-sport athlete at Keene State

KEENE, N.H. 6/10/08 - Katie Allenson won’t be lacking for things to do this summer. Deciding to stay around the Keene area, the junior from Clifton Park, N.Y., has enlisted for a tour of duty with Keene State’s physical plant where she will handle a myriad of chores, including grounds, dorm maintenance, and repairs.

“It’s fun,” said Allenson, who will also play in a summer softball league with many of her Owl teammates. “I’m a hands-on type of person who likes to keep busy.”

The talented and versatile Allenson has been a jack-of-all-trades as a two- sport athlete at Keene State College the past three years. On the softball diamond, the jubilant junior has seen playing time at third base, catcher, and designated player. In the pool, she has swum mid and distance freestyle and has also competed in several individual medley and relay races.

“I don’t care where I play as long as I play,” said Allenson. “I can’t sit on the bench.”

Allenson’s team-first mentality and work ethic hasn’t gone unnoticed by her coaches. “Katie puts her team first and works to motivate everyone to perform at their best,” said KSC swim coach Jack Fabian, who named Allenson as one of his captains for next year. “If Katie has a sub par performance, she doesn’t make an excuse or blame anyone. She just gets focused and works harder in practice to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Keene State softball coach Charlie Beach echoed the same sentiments. “Katie is extremely competitive and will not quit,” he said. “When she comes up after a bad at bat, you better watch out.”

Even at an early age, Allenson displayed a competitive edge that brought out her emerging athletic skills. “I grew up on a street full of boys, said Allenson, a self-described tom-boy. “You had to be a tough or you never had the ball thrown to you.”

Allenson’s jumped into organized sports at age 4 when she competed for the Schenectady Sharks, one of the top USS teams in the area.

Allenson’s love for swimming was tempered by her desire to try other sports. “Swimming takes over your life,” she said. “If you want to be really good in swimming, you have to be very committed to it. It was a struggle at times.”

Katie got to spread her athletic wings at Shenendehowa High, where, in addition to swimming, she played softball and basketball. Allenson, who specializing in the 500 freestyle, helped the Shenendehowa swim team go undefeated and reclaim the sectional championship as a senior.

Her Plainesmen softball squad, which featured several players who would go on to play Division I ball, advanced to the state final four in her final year. For fun, she also played two seasons on the Shenendehowa junior varsity basketball team.

Helped by several coaches along the way, Allenson singled out swim coach Pat Seligman (mother of former Owl standout Scott Seligman) as being highly influential in her development. “She was not only my coach, but she was also like a second mother to me,” Allenson said. “She helped me become who I am today.”

Today, Allenson has established herself as one of the top two-sport athletes at Keene State. Coming off her best season in the pool, Allenson earned multiple honors helping the Owl swim team capture both Little East and New England Division II-III championships.

In softball, Allenson batted a scorching .477 with a team-high nine home runs and 42 RBIs. Named to All-LEC and All-New England teams, Allenson and teammate Jena Patnode were both in contention to claim the KSC record for hits in a season.

Playing in the ECAC New England Championship tournament, Allenson said, “she wasn’t trying to get hits for the record, but rather hits so the team could win.”

One of those hits came in dramatic fashion against Simmons College moving KSC in the championship round. Stepping to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Allenson cleared the bases with a shot that cleared the fence in straight-away centerfield.

“It was my first walk-off home run,” she said. “I didn’t know how to handle it, so I just hit it and ran.”

An architecture major at Keene State, Allenson is looking forward to building on her fine junior campaign. “I have no idea what I’m going to be doing next year in both sports, but I’m sure I’ll be taking a leadership role and urging my teammates to work hard,” said Allenson. “It’s going to be my senior season, and I want to go out with a bang.”

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