NMH’s Hussein Gatorade Runner of Year
Boys cross country at Northfield Mount Hermon, September 28, 2012. Additional photos of NMH sporting events are available for viewing and purchase from www.jtrsports.net/. These images are copyrighted by Risley Sports Photography. Downloading is prohibited.
Northfield Mount Hermon School harrier Mohammed Hussein added one final prep-school cross-country honor to his growing collection of trophies Thursday.
The senior was named the 2013-14 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys’ Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Hussein, who hails from the African territory known as Somaliland, finished off an impressive cross-country season with not only a victory in the New England Preparatory School Track Association Division I Championships this fall. His time of 16 minutes, 6 seconds also set a new course record. The previous course record had stood for 10 years and was set by former St. Paul’s School runner and 2012 Olympic marathon runner Guor Marial.
Hussein finished the season with a trip to the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Championships, where he competed against 170 other runners from 11 states. Hussein crossed the finish line in a time of 16:01.10 to place 14th overall. He will compete on the track & field team for the Hoggers this spring before moving in the fall on to Amherst College, where he will compete with the cross-country and track & field teams.
“I feel blessed,” Hussein wrote via e-mail. “It all comes down to NMH giving me this opportunity. In a place like Somaliland, a lot of teenagers don’t go beyond high school. NMH opened doors for me and accepted me. Every moment being here is a blessing to me.”
Hussein also praised NMH coach Grant Gonzalez, who has helped mentor the student during his time in the country.
“This award is reflective of the commitment and time that my coach put in to get the best out of me,” he said.
The 5-foot-6, 130-pound runner also was chosen for the award due to his performance off the track. Hussein has a 3.67 grade point average and is a member of the Business Club, Model Senate and Debate Team, and has also volunteered at a food bank and as a peer tutor.
Hussein said that his favorite moment from the season was setting a new course record at the Bemis-Forslund Pie Race, which dates back to 1897.
Hussein became the first NMH harrier to receive the award, which started in 2007.