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Mary Baldwin Welcomes Coach Clifton

Mary Baldwin Welcomes Coach Clifton

Allen Clifton has joined Mary Baldwin Athletics as assistant coach for both cross country and track. Clifton has been coaching successfully at the local high school level for the past 15 years. As the head of the Riverheads boys’ track program, Clifton garnered a number of accolades including numerous conference titles and Coach of the Year nods. This past season he coached the 1A state champion and record holder in the boys 400 meter run. As the Riverheads girls’ cross country coach over the last 5 years, Coach Clifton guided the rebuilding of the team into a consistent regional qualifier in three of the last four seasons, with three athletes advancing to the state meet, placing 19th, 21st, and 25th respectively. While at Stuarts Draft, Clifton built the program both in numbers and records. His teams consistently competed for the conference title. By his last season at Draft, his indoor team qualified more athletes to the region meet (32) than were on the team when he started coaching (24) in 2001.

In all, Coach Clifton's athletes accumulated over 150 all-state medals during his tenure at Stuarts Draft and Riverheads. At the national level, 18 of his athletes qualified in events ranging from sprints and relays to shot, discus and high jump. One athlete gained All-American status with a 4th place finish in the high jump, while another claimed the freshman national title in the 400m (50.68) at New Balance Outdoor Nationals.

Head Coach Heather Ely says, “Allen will be a wonderful addition to the program, and I’m really looking forward to working with him. His energy and passion for cross country, and track and field are evident with every interaction. I think the athletes will respond to his enthusiasm, and it will show through both in their training and competition.”

Coach Clifton graduated in 1990 from Buffalo Gap High School where he ran cross country and track, and also wrestled. In 1998 he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science from Bridgewater College, where he also ran cross country and track. While at Bridgewater, he was a member of the 1997 All-Academic cross country team, and the 1997-98 indoor and 1998 outdoor track conference championship teams.

"I am very excited to join Coach Ely and the Mary Baldwin staff," added Coach Clifton. "I am looking forward to joining a cross country program with a solid history, and taking on the challenge of building a track and field tradition from the ground up at Mary Baldwin. I encourage my student-athletes to become great students not only in the classroom, but also students of track and field. I truly believe any athlete that comes into Mary Baldwin and combines a solid work ethic and a desire to get better with our training knowledge and experience will be able to achieve great things and help put Mary Baldwin track and field on the map."

Coach Clifton resides in Staunton and teaches Health and Physical Education at Riverheads Elementary School. He is also currently working toward a degree as a Registered Dietician. He enjoys spending time watching his two sons play sports and grow into outstanding young men.