At the start of the indoor track & field season, Nuriddin Abdus-Salaam (Charlotte Court House, Va./Randolph Henry) made a mark for himself and EMU history at the CNU Holiday Open in Newport News, Va.
Nuriddin finished second among the D-III athletes and ran a personal and program record in the 60m dash, clocking in at 7.15. Alongside that record, he also broke his personal best in the 200m with a time at 23.44, finishing eighth all-time in EMU program history.
In only his second season as a runner for the Eastern Mennonite University track & field team, the sophomore showed his talent amongst the other runners at the meet.
Nerves are often part of the race, but Nuriddin spoke on the lack of nerves coming into his most historic run to date.
“I felt incredibly relaxed before the race,” Nuriddin explained. “I told myself, ‘I been here a million of times, just trust everything you learned and God.’ After the race, I felt proud and optimistic about what the future and the rest of the season holds.”
Head Track & Field Coach Brian Simpson felt the races’ times were only the beginning for his runner.
“With his youth on his side, Nuriddin has a majority of his career ahead of him to continue improving his craft and continue to compete in the ODAC,” Coach Simpson said.
For his part, Nuriddin simply tries to be better every day.
“I view every practice like it would be my last,” he added. “Every day I remind myself of my goals, and my primary goal is to be the best version of myself.”
In this early season, Nuriddin has used this mentality with practice to be able to showcase his capabilities on the track, but Coach Simpson claims that there is more to behold in his career.
“Nuriddin has exhibited tremendous work ethic since the first day of practice,” Coach Simpson added. “His breaking of the 60m record comes as no surprise to me and I expect more great things from this young man.”
Nuriddin’s previous best time in the 60m was clocked at 7.32 in 2015. His previous best for the 200m was 23.69. With the new marks in the books, his work ethic at practice has been seen.
The improvement has been noted by the sophomore, but he attributes more than just his physical improvement through the help of the people he works with on a day-to-day basis.
“I see so much improvement of myself since last year,” Nuriddin stated. “I have grown stronger mentally and faster physically. It feels great to be back on track with a coaching staff, teammates, family and friends that believe in me and my abilities.”
Nuriddin’s sophomore campaign is still fresh, as the indoor track & field teams continue their season in January. Nuriddin will look to continue his impressive start building towards the ODAC Championships on Feb. 26.
--- by Jake Brown, Sports Information Intern