At the 600-yard run during the MIAA championships, he crossed the finish line, nothing that he hadn’t done countless times prior to that one. In that last individual race of his sophomore season however, he did it as an MIAA champion.
Northwest runner Abdelrahim Mahgoub found his love for track and field at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
“I started running track in my freshman year, but I wasn’t really taking it seriously,” Mahgoub said. “Around my junior and senior year, I started to realize I could be good at it, so I started focusing all my energy on track.”
That energy translated to Mahgoub being one of the 20 Bearcats named a USTFCCCA All-American last season. Mahgoub was influenced to come and run at Northwest by his sister, Hiba, who is also on the track and field team.
“She really convinced me that Northwest was the best option and a good opportunity for my education and track,” Mahgoub said. “My first semester I was a little skeptical, but now I think it's the best place for me.”
His experience on the track and field team has been heightened, having his sister by his side.
“It's awesome; I like it a lot,” Mahgoub said. “We build off each other and try to push each other every single time we practice.”
Mahgoub, who goes by A.R., had a successful sophomore year in numerous events, placing second in the 800-meter run at the Bearcat Open on Feb. 7-8. He also ran with the 4-x-400-meter relay team, placing second at the MIAA championships Feb. 28-31 in Pittsburg, Kansas. He struggled with an injury throughout the season but recovered in time for the MIAA championships.
There, he ran a time of 1:10.87 to claim the MIAA title in the 600-yard run. It's a moment that Mahgoub is proud of.
“It was amazing; I had a lot of fun with it,” Mahgoub said. “I didn’t expect to win coming off of an injury, and my confidence wasn’t there. The coaching and training helped me succeed when I needed to succeed.”
Mahgoub and the rest of the Northwest track and field team was getting ready to prepare for the NCAA championships in Birmingham, Alabama, when the event was canceled due to COVID-19. Mahgoub was set to compete in the 4-x-400 relay during the two-day event starting March 13.
He turned his attention to this season, beginning preseason preparation. He tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to take a month off due to a heart issue.
“It was very difficult at first because you're out of shape and not really mentally ready,” Mahgoub said. “I was behind everyone else and just had to catch up.”
Being out for a month changed Mahgoub’s preseason preparation, causing him to alter his training.
“I had to prepare in a different way than last year. It really pushed me back into training, while everyone else was ahead,” Mahgoub said. “I've been working on my speed lately, and I also need to be able focus in better and be engaged more.”
Track and field coach Brandon Masters has attempted to change some of Mahgoub’s training in order for him to improve for the upcoming season.
“He's learned a lot the last couple of years. He's super talented,” Masters said. “We changed his training slightly to give him more foot speed.”
Despite the setbacks during the offseason, Masters sees a bright future for Mahgoub.
“He has really come a long way, and he has guys pushing him on a daily basis in practice. This is the year for him to break out,” Masters said. “This is his time for the national level. He’s a type of guy that will do very well at nationals; we just have to get him there.”
The track and field season is set to start in January, without an official date or schedule set in place yet. With the season approaching, Mahgoub has set his mind on the coming year
“I hope to win at conference again and hopefully win at nationals, or at least make it to nationals,” Mahgoub said.