Many members of the Bulldogs' track team wore the hashtag to honor their teammate Allen Roberson, who was diagnosed with a mixed germ cell brain tumor before the start of spring break.
As the Bulldogs’ Shawn Gordon paces his way around the track at Spruce Creek High School during the 1,600-meter run, you can catch a glimpse of the writing on his arm. When Bulldogs’ coach David Halliday holds up his hands, shouting at his sprinters to run faster, you can see it again, scribbled in neat, black ink along the right forearm of Flagler Palm Coast’s longtime track coach: #FORALLEN.
The hashtag decorated to bodies of several Bulldogs — boys and girls — who competed in the Five Star Conference Championship on Wednesday, April 4.
It was in honor of teammate Allen Roberson, who was diagnosed with a mixed germ cell brain tumor just before the start of spring break.
Although the prognosis is good, according to Halliday, the promising sophomore’s season ended at that very moment.
Gordon thought of his teammate, who went through his first round of chemotherapy nearly a week ago, on the final stretch of the 1,600-meter run. Gordon chased down two runners to take first in the event with a time of 4:30.68.
“When the two guys ahead of me took off on the fourth lap, I knew that I had to pick it up,” Gordon said. “I worked on my speed the past few weeks, so I really trusted my training.”
By the third lap, Gordon was 20 meters behind second and 30 meters behind first.
“Then I just kicked it up,” he said. “And I prayed.”
Gordon was part of a boys team that edged out Spruce Creek for the title. However, the Hawks returned the favor on the girls’ side.
“The girls were kind of a longshot to unseat Spruce Creek. They just have so many girls who score in so many events,” Halliday said. “But every one of our girls brought their A-game today. They far exceeded what they, on paper, were supposed to do. For the boys: We had a couple of hiccups, but overall, they performed really well.”
As the Bulldogs prepare for what lies ahead, they’ll continue to compete for their sidelined teammate.
“This involves all of us,” Gordon said. “We use our performances out here to really push for him, so we can tell him how good we’re doing. It really helps us step our game up.”