Cross country runner off to fast start in 2013

Mohamed Adam has placed in the top-10 in all three cross country races thus far in 2013. photo courtesy of VCU Athletics

Sterling Giles
Contributing Writer

Mohamed Adam has had a remarkable run, so to speak, thus far in the 2013 season. The cross country runner has posted top-10 finishes in his first three meets of his junior season.

Backtracking to the 2012 season, Adam had remarkable performances in both the A-10 Championships and the NCAA Southeast Regional meet. The Sudan native posted a time of 26:39, which garnered him a 31st place finish at the A-10 Championships. At the NCAA Regional meet, Adam recorded a time of 32:26 and a 102nd place finish, according to VCU Athletics.

Despite his efforts during his sophomore season, Adam says there is still room for improvement. This season he hopes to improve on all of his best times and make a run at the NCAA Nationals, according to VCU athletics.

The men’s team has performed relatively well during the first few meets of the season, but Adam still believes the team still has a ways to go to meet its full potential.

“We’ve done pretty well,” Adam said. “We’ve progressed a lot but we can still improve. We need to work as a team to score more points.”

The Sudan native’s top-10 showings in the preliminary meets of the season also helped him gain recognition as the Virginia Lottery Student-Athlete of the Week mention.

When questioned about his most memorable race of his collegiate career, Adam didn’t hesitate to point to last year’s Paul Short Invitational.

“I got to compete with some of the best runners in the nation,” Adam said. “Also, I ran my lifetime best at the time and finally broke 25 minutes in the 8K.”

Despite the passion Adam has for the sport, he admits that it is very time-consuming. A typical day for Adam consists of several hours of classes and at least three hours of practice.

His role model is a Moroccan middle distance runner by the name of Hicham El Geurrouj, who holds world records for the one-mile, 1,500 meter and outdoor 2,000 meter races.

Outside of athletics, Adam has other aspirations as well. Though cross country consumes a great portion of his time, the junior also understands the importance of education.

“I would like to go to graduate school and to become a doctor,” Adam said. “I really want to help others in the community and I feel this profession satisfies that.”

The Rams opened their 2013 season on Sept. 6th at the Spider Alumni Open at Pole Green Park in Centreville, Va. Coincidentally, Pole Green Park will also host the Atlantic 10 Championships later on this season on Nov. 2.

In the men’s first event of the season, the Richmond Invitational, three Rams placed in the top-20 in the five-kilometer race. Adam, who placed fourth, recorded a time of 15:15.9, junior Sam Hush placed a time of 15:36 (16th), and freshman Ben Sorensen at 15:40.4 (19th). At the conclusion of the meet, the men’s squad placed 4th out of 6 teams.

Nicole Cook, the director of cross country at VCU, spoke highly of the team’s first appearance.

“It was a good meet for us because we were able to gain some insight into both squads and now we can take that and learn from it,” Cook said.

On Sept. 19, VCU competed at the 8K Virginia Union University Invite. This time around Adam achieved first place with a time of 25:35, while the rest of his fellow teammates all managed to post top-15 times. The victory for the men’s squad was their first of the season.

The most recent meet was the William & Mary Invitational at the Dunbar Farms Course, which took place just two days after the VUU Invite. Adam finished in 2nd with a time of 15:36.7 in the five-kilometer race, clocking in just seven seconds behind the winner Jason Skipper from the University of Richmond.

Adam’s fellow teammates Khalid Khamis and Sam Hush also recorded top-10 finishes and four other Rams marked top-30 finishes as well. Despite the individual performances, the Rams placed last among the three teams competing.

VCU will conclude the regular season with the Christopher Newport Invitational in Newport News, Va. on Oct. 19.

 

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