Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Incredible Transformation of Eyobed Mesfun

Eyobed Mesfun leads the pack in the dual with Bellarmine
There's something primitive about track & field. From our youth as boys and girls we are sprinting and throwing and jumping to see who is faster and stronger.  In a playful test of speed endurance we chase down the fleeing competitors when we are “it” in a game of tag.  There is not a purer form of competition that takes us back to those adolescent roots than what is on display in Track & Field. There is no greater test to see who can persevere and outlast. The clock does not lie and there can be only one winner. It is humbling and there are no guarantees. Yet the sport appeals into our instilled desire to compete and challenge ourselves.

The purity of competition was on display for the Warriors last Friday, perhaps demonstrated none better than the race that featured Eyobed Mesfun.  Coming into the WCAL Championship a Valley Christian athlete had never even led a lap in the two mile, an event traditionally dominated by Bellarmine. That is, until last Friday.

It has been quite the journey for Eyobed Mesfun who was cut from the freshman basketball team to running for USC next year.  After running 5:10 in the mile as a freshman he showed a steady progression running a modest 4:58 as a sophomore.  Following that season a decision was made that it was time to get serious. He trained through the summer and came out for his first cross country season that fall. He quickly jumped to #2 on the team and cruised to a 4:42 mile and 10:26 two mile that spring. However, he was not content, nor the transformation complete.

Mesfun ran to a 3k school record at the St.Francis Invitational
The summer leading into his senior year he ran like never before. He implemented the "Run 60" plan developed with his coach. He would run at least 60 min a day, 60 miles per week and he never looked back. He was up at 7 am running every day, sometimes coming back again in the afternoon. He ran in the hills, on the roads, on the track. He ran tempos, even a 4th of July 5k.  He ran while holding down a summer job at Stanford University.  But most of all, he just ran.

And so there we was, lining up on the starting line of his final race.  The gun shot off and so did he, charging to the lead at what spectators and coaches were calling a suicidal pace.  He went by one lap, than two than three, extending his lead by more than 30 meters.  The chase pack had been running as if they expected the lead runner to fade and go away but Mesfun was still there… forcing the favorites in the chase pack to respond.  The pace quickened and Eyobed was joined by the main pack in chase of the CCS Automatic qualifier.  Battling through a blistering first mile, the senior held on to finish in an impressive 9:50.84 breaking his own school record to finish fifth, the highest finish ever for a Warrior since Valley Christian joined the WCAL a decade ago.

“No one remembers the guy that just hangs back in the pack and never went for it,” Mesfun said in response to his racing tactics.  “It was do or die.”   

With a cumulative GPA of 4.4 he will be attending USC this fall on a scholarship to study aerospace engineering.  He has been an intricate part of the school’s ISS and Advanced Math, Science and Engineering programs and medaled at the State Science fair.  

"Eyobed did not come in as a top freshman but was focused and worked hard to be where he is today.  He persevered through numerous challenges and was the one out there running when it was hard to get out the door." Coach Small Said.  "He is an inspiration."

"He has overcome adversity and been a leader to this team.  The transformation has been fun to watch and his character is what gives me confidence his future is very bright at USC and beyond."

The Progression of Eyobed Mesfun:


No comments:

Post a Comment