Cross Country Profile: Ameen Anwar

Sophomore Ameen Anwar will soon be embarking on his first States meet as a member of the cross country team. Anwar is among the team’s top five runners which means that he is one of the fastest runners on the cross country team in the entire state division. He is excited to compete against other so-called legendary runners that he has heard of but has yet to race against.

He also says that in an event such as this, a lot is expected of him. The Coaches Invitational, more commonly referred to as States, is very different from the typical cross country meet. It is a qualifying meet that brings together the fastest runners in the state and puts them into one competition.

He describes that he became interested in long-distance running on whim. One day he starting running with a friend and his passion flourished from there. Conversely, Anwar admits that when he initially joined the cross country team he did not expect to “like all that running” but eventually his attitude toward the sport changed. He now admits that it is “so much fun” and describes his experience on the team as “amazing.”

 Ameen Anwar, far left, with his fellow teammates and coach David Londino. Photo submitted by Ameen Anwar.

Ameen Anwar, far left, with his fellow teammates and coach David Londino. Photo submitted by Ameen Anwar.

Anwar also reveals that cross country is “not as lonely as most people think”. He explains how cross country is a difficult sport to attract members to as the team members could not just “run laps in front of” aspiring team members.

Personally, he believes that  a specific aspect that may draw people to the team is “just seeing how much fun [they] [have]” which extends beyond running. Anwar says that “[they] don’t just run miles”, they “do stuff together” and “have fun together.” This prevailing sense of camaraderie is a running theme throughout those interviewed on the boys cross country team.

This will be Anwar’s debut as an athlete who qualifies for States. He describes this occasion as “the big meet”, an event many runners “look up to”. But in joining the cross country team he says he has “learned to take pressure of [himself].” He has become accustom to the spotlight that being a runner brings in invitational meets such as States. He is mainly excited to compete against his fellow competitors that will be meeting during this particular competition.

Of course, holding such high rank on a sport as arduous as cross country can be intimidating. Anwar admits that cross country Coach David Londino does “expect [him] to score,” but overall, he does not apply an unbearable amount of pressure to him and his teammates. He describes his role on the team as “just to run as fast as [he] can” and “hopefully outrun [the other team’s] fastest runners.”

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