Ababu Mohamed was in need of a challenge.

A native of Ethiopia, Mohamed arrived at Bellaire High School by way of Minnesota. His grades were good, but Mohamed was searching for something more.

He initially tried soccer prior to moving to Houston. After relocating, he took up running on his own.

“It was really hard for me to get started. I didn’t have any experience and I didn’t know how to run,” Mohamed said.

“I talked to someone that ran marathons and half-marathons. He told me to find a running coach at Bellaire high School, so that’s what I did.”

During his freshman year Mohamed was invited to participate in a tryout for distance runners.

“I won that two-mile tryout in a little over 11 minutes,” Mohamed said. “That inspired me and I was the second best guy on the team as a freshman. Ever since then I’ve been the No. 1 guy on the team.

“I needed to find something that could help train me for the future,” Mohamed said. “I was searching for another talent to help me get into a good college. I found it in running and I continue to challenge myself.”

Despite coming off an injury-ravaged junior year, Mohamed signed a full athletic scholarship to Tennessee Tech University last December.

His senior year (2017) has included personal bests in both the two-mile (9:42) and one-mile (4:28) races.

In the recent HISD District 18-6A meet, Mohamed placed first in the two-mile with a time of nine minutes, 43.79 seconds. Yoel Yoel of Westbury was second in 9:45.35.

The rivals traded positions in the one-mile race with Yoel taking the gold medal (4:28.52) and Mohamed settling for the silver (4:29.01).

“I like both races, but since I am a distance runner, I like the two-mile a little more,” Mohamed said.

“Last week we ran in Fort Bend and I won both my two-mile and one-mile races,” he said.

Mohamed is looking forward to navigating the upcoming weeks with area and regional meets preceding the state meet in Austin.

“I’m getting back into top shape and I like my results right now,” he said. “I’m right on my personal bests in both races.

If Mohamed were to qualify for state in both races, he could run them on separate days.

“I don’t tired that easily so I’m hoping to run fast times in both races,” he said. “That’s why I like the district meet. I have good competition from Westbury and it makes me run a good time.”

Mohamed said he doesn’t compare times from across the state. He concerns himself with improving his own time and deals with the competition during the race.

“I don’t look at who is good or who is bad. I just worry about my time,” he said.

About Ababu Mohamed

Birth date – Nov. 29, 1998

Birth sign – Sagittarius

Favorite subject – Math

Possible college major – Mechanical engineering

How he relaxes – Go out with friends or watch TV

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