Dawsyn Wilson ’26  |  Published March 12, 2024

‘Elite’ Student-Athlete

Midwest Conference award recipient Bethany Allen talks teaching, track and more.

ELITE 20: Fighting Scot Bethany Allen receives the Elite 20 award last spring from Midwest Conference Commissioner Heather ... ELITE 20: Fighting Scot Bethany Allen receives the Elite 20 award last spring from Midwest Conference Commissioner Heather Benning.MONMOUTH, Ill. – At last spring’s Midwest Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Monmouth College’s Bethany Allen didn’t have the longest triple jump or clear the top mark in the high jump.

But what Allen did better than all the competitors in those two jumps – plus all the other women’s events at the meet – was have the highest grade-point average, which entitled her to receive the 2023 MWC Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Elite 20 Award. The award is presented annually to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA competing at the meet.

Allen said she was sitting with her friends and listening to the announcer describe the award winner. Then came a surprise.

“I was shocked when they called my name,” she said. “All my coaches congratulated me, and the radio and Monmouth’s sports information team interviewed me.”

A passion for teaching

Allen didn’t know that honor was coming, but something she’s had in the works for quite a while is her plans after Monmouth.

“I’ve always felt pushed toward education,” she said. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was little.”

Allen is already fulfilling that dream, as the elementary education major is student teaching in a second-grade classroom this semester. One of the highlights, she said, was taking her students to the College’s farm east of campus to connect with nature.

“I’ve always felt pushed toward education. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was little.” – Bethany Allen

“Being able to take the students out and see their love for the farm and the garden is super special,” she said.

There have been other teaching opportunities at Monmouth, including her time working with Rainbow Riders, a therapeutic horseback riding center.

“I worked there and absolutely fell in love with teaching and helping the students,” said Allen. “I loved seeing their faces light up when they figured out a new trick or understood something in the lesson.”

Within the educational studies program, Allen is part of the Teachers Allied with Rural Town and Neighborhood Schools. Through the TARTANS program, she traveled to the Teton Science Schools in Wyoming March 5-8 to learn more about using place-based principles.

Picturing success in track

Allen has also been able to use her teaching skills – as well as her skills behind the camera – with the track team.

RISING ABOVE: Allen is pictured in action at a Fighting Scots home meet. RISING ABOVE: Allen is pictured in action at a Fighting Scots home meet.“I always say I make a better coach than an athlete,” she said. “It’s really nice to see your advice put to use and to help others be successful.”

Allen enjoyed being coached by the legendary Roger Haynes during her freshman year and then participating in a track meet in his honor the past two seasons. She said the Fighting Scots track team has become “like a little family” to her, and she enjoys taking photos of events and her teammates. Her coach sent her pictures to Monmouth Sports Information Director Nathan Baliva, and Allen was asked to be a photographer for the SID’s team. She’s shot football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and a bit of track and field when she’s not competing.

“I love getting to know my teammates and taking photos for them,” said Allen. “I like creating little mementos the athletes can keep forever and show their families.”

A caring campus

During her time on campus, Allen has been able to branch out and become bolder in the things she does. She’s been a part of band and choir is a part of the educational studies honor society, Kappa Delta Pi, in addition to being in TARTANS and competing in track.

“You see each other on campus, you hype each other up and you always say ‘Hi.’ … Everybody knows everybody; everybody cares about everybody.” – Bethany Allen

“I was able to make a lot of friendships and relationships through each of those events and activities,” she said. “I love that it’s a small campus community and that there are opportunities to do almost everything.”

The small community has allowed Allen to get to know a lot of people.

“You see each other on campus, you hype each other up and you always say ‘Hi,’” she said. “It’s really nice to have a familiar face everywhere on campus, not just in one building. Everybody knows everybody; everybody cares about everybody.”

She said she also feels close to her professors – even some outside her major – and has been able to work closely with several of them.

Choosing the College, said the Monmouth-Roseville High School graduate, came down to what she observed while growing up in town.

“I loved watching how Monmouth students connected with the town and their outreach,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of that, and I’ve loved the community aspect when it comes to the College.”

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