PREP SPOTLIGHT: Ammah Abdel Rahman
By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
J.H. Rose senior Ammah Abdel Rahman just started running track for the Rampants last year, but has risen to become one of the leaders of the school’s indoor track program and will compete at the state meet this weekend. Abdel Rahman chatted with Reflector prep sports beat writer Jordan Anders this week about why she started running competitively and the release it brings her.
Q: First off, what is your full name?
A: My first name is Ammahtullah, then my last name is two parts. People call me Ammah, and my coaches started calling me “Double A,” and I was like, “I’m cool with that.”
Q: What nationality is that?
A: My parents are from Palestine, so I’m Muslim. What (my name) means in Arabic is “a servant of God,” so that’s where my name originally came from.
Q: That’s very cool. Were you born here?
A: Yes. Me, along with my other brothers and sisters.
Q: How many siblings do you have?
A: I have five other siblings — two sisters and three brothers.
Q: How did you get into running track?
A: I started running my seventh-grade year and ever since then, I’ve been running on my own and running miles on my own. Freshman and sophomore year, I was kind of nervous to get into the crowd and start running track. People were telling me, ‘You should do track because you’d love it,’ and I was just not aware of how to go about it. Then, my junior year, I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to go out for the track team.’
Q: You ran cross country, too, correct?
A: Yes. I just started doing that this year.
Q: What do you enjoy about running?
A: Well, going back to cross country season, one of my biggest accomplishments was the conference meet. The top-10 makes all-conference, and I was around 14th or 15th place and my coaches were telling me to just run my race. Then, (assistant coach Dennis) Gibson comes up and says, ‘You know top-10 gets conference,’ and he’s like, ‘I think you can do it.’ That motivation kind of set me off thinking maybe I can actually get top-10 in the conference, and that race was by far my best race of the season. I ran smart and passed a bunch of people in the last mile and came in ninth place. That motivation sparked me to figure out that if you really set your mind to something, you can do it. That’s what running has taught me.
Q: Your head coach, Phillip Rowan, told me you’ve made some pretty big improvements from your junior season to your senior season. What’s the biggest area in which you feel like you’ve improved as a runner?
A: To me, it’s the mindset. Someone might tell you to go run three miles, and you might get home and be motivated, but then something comes up in your mind like, ‘I can’t do this.’ It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s just that you’re not thinking the positive way. In the summer, I had this motivation that I was going to get my miles in and run as much as I can, and there were some tough days, but I still got stronger mentally and physically. I think it’s all in the mental aspect of it.
Q: What events do you run during indoor track season?
A: I run the mile, the 1,000 meters and I’ve just started getting into the two-mile, the 3,200.
Q: You’ve got the state meet coming up this weekend in Winston-Salem. What’s your biggest focus going into that event?
A: Well, run smart, of course. As far as what I’m aiming for, my (personal record) is a 5:37 (in the mile) so I’m shooting for a 5:35, 5:30, somewhere around there. Since there’s going to be a bunch of people from across the state, of course there are going to be people faster than me so I’m not thinking about, ‘I’m going to get first place and be the state champ.’ I’m just thinking about me running my own race, running smart and finishing.
Q: Once states is over, when does outdoor track start?
A: Next Thursday.
Q: Wow, so you get virtually no time to rest up before that starts, huh?
A: Yeah. [laughs] Sundays are usually my rest days, so I’m going to take as long as I can to rest.
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