Oakton cross country runner qualifies for nationals
Last updated 10/31/2019 at 1:50pm
Oakton Community College cross country runner Souleya Ibrahim (Mather High School) will compete in the 2019 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I Women's Cross Country Championship scheduled Saturday, Nov. 9, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Ibrahim, a freshman from Chicago, punched her ticket to nationals by finishing first at the NJCAA Division I Region IV and Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference (ISCC) Cross Country Championship hosted by Carl Sandburg College on Saturday, Oct. 26. She ran the 5K race with a personal record time of 18:16.
"I plan on preparing for nationals by training six days a week and doing some hard workouts. I attribute my success this season to running consistently, showing integrity, being tough and having fun while competing," Ibrahim says.
What makes Ibrahim's accomplishment even more remarkable is that she didn't start running until her senior year at Mather High School.
"Early in the season she admitted to being nervous but has shaken the jitters and has been nothing short of phenomenal, winning every junior college race she entered this year," explains Kenvar Pujoe, Oakton cross country coach. "My expectation for her at nationals is she'll finish in the top 20 or better. Regardless, Souleya is an amazing young woman who has done a wonderful job for the cross country program and is an asset to Oakton."
Ibrahim's honors this year also include being named ISCC Runner of the Year and to the ISCC All-Conference Team.