Shark sighting in Smithfield

Shark sighting in Smithfield

La Salle's Currie signs NLI to continue running career at Florida’s D-II Nova Southeastern University

SMITHFIELD – The La Salle Academy cross country and track and field program has traditionally seen its share of runners receive scholarships to continue their academic and athletic careers at the Division I and II levels.

Smithfield native Allen Currie, pictured, recently became the latest runner to join the Rams’ distinguished list of scholarship athletes, as the La Salle senior signed a National Letter of Intent to Division II Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Currie, who signed his paperwork a few weeks ago, before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools and high school sports nationwide, started running in 5th grade and soon grew to enjoy the sport.

“I went on runs with my mom,” he said. “And then I joined my middle school team at Gallagher (Middle School) and continued in high school.”

Despite living in Smithfield, Currie never joined the Sentinel Striders youth program, noting that he “just never got around to joining them.” In middle school, he explored other sports, such as basketball and baseball, but now, he only enjoys playing pickup games in them.

“When I got to La Salle, running became my only sport,” he said.

At the end of middle school, he looked at Smithfield High and La Salle and decided that La Salle was a better fit for him. He said La Salle offered a “better core curriculum that would give him a better understand in science,” and he added that he would also receive better training with all the great runners that have come out of La Salle.

Currie, who admitted that he enjoyed studying AP Biology last year, said that he typically excels in math and science, so when he tried to decide which college he wanted to attend, academics relied heavily on his decision.

And Currie’s decision eventually came down to two schools, Division I Wagner College at Staten Island, N.Y. and Nova Southeastern.

“I visited both colleges to get a feel for the team atmosphere and academics,” said Currie, who plans to major in nursing. “I loved both teams, but I felt Nova was better academically for me. I can only run for four more years.”

While his spring sports schedule is on hold, Currie said that his senior year has so far been an excellent one, which has seen him break 16 minutes in the 5K during the cross country season and two minutes in the 800 meters for outdoor track and field.

At last November’s RIIL Cross Country Championships at Ponaganset High, Currie finished 25th out of 148 runners in a time of 16:43.18 to help the Rams claim their fourth state title in the last six years.

Three months later, at the RIIL’s indoor track and field championship meet at the Providence Career & Technical Academy field house, Currie took fifth place in the boys’ 1,000 meters in a personal-best time of 2:38.12.

And for the second year in a row, he also ran the second leg of the Rams’ 4x800 relay team that captured a state title by winning the event in 8:16.07. That same squad also took sixth place at the New England Championships two weekends later in Roxbury, Mass., as the Rams’ time was 8:03.32.

During the outdoor season, Currie competes in the distance events, including the 1500 meters, and on the 4x800 relay team. At last year’s state meet, Currie took eighth place in the 1,500 in a time of 4:15:39.

“It’s kind of disappointing,” Currie said about the upcoming spring season being on hold for the moment. “You want to go out strong in your last season. And I can’t train with my teammates. I’m making it work by myself, but teammates keep you accountable.”

Currie’s goals going forward, spring sports or not, is to continue to get stronger and faster while also continuing to excel in the classroom, he said. And if the spring season finally gets on track, “I’m looking to get sub two-minutes in the 800 and close to four minutes in the 1,500,” he said.