On the right track

Sophomore Hasan Mustapha takes his fast feet to regionals.


Hasan Mustapha walks to the track to prepare for his 4×400 at the district meet on April 10. Photo by Jezza Bull-Briones

As Hasan Mustapha entered the finals of the 400 at the district meet, he led the race with a 50.8. During the finals, he came in second with a 50.51.

The winner beat him by four hundredths of a second.

He may have beaten the school record and qualified for regionals, but he wanted more.

“I want my name first,” he said.

Hasan Mustapha will compete at regionals Friday, April 25 in Abilene at McMurry University. He will travel with Austin Rayburn, Ayo Adedokun, Enrique Luna, and José Murillo, his 4X400 relay teammates.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work throughout the whole summer and throughout this whole year so it feels good,” he said.

His performance in both the 400 and 4X400 relay guaranteed him a spot at regionals.

Before every meet, including district and regionals, Mustapha takes time to prepare for his event.

“I just warm up before all my competitors cause I’ll be ready before they are” said Mustapha.

Not only does he warm up physically, he also warms up mentally. Before every event Mustapha listens to the artists Chief Keef, Migos, Kendrick Lamar, and Ab-Soul.

He also has his superstitions like wearing the same socks every meet.

Whatever his method, Mustapha has impressed his teammates.

“Hasan works hard to be in the position that he is [in] and he is dedicated. He wants to be good,” Adedokun said. “I can see it in him.”

Not only do Mustapha’s teammates look up to him, his coach, Rex Fewell, sees potential in him.

“He’s a leader for not just the 4X4 squad but for the team, but he doesn’t say much,” Fewell said. “He’s that guy that just . . . you kind of don’t know that he’s really there, but all of the sudden you are just like . . . wow.“

Mustapha one day wants to run college track like his older brother. He asked his coach to help him get into college with a track scholarship, but Fewell said he didn’t need help getting there.

Mustapha’s running times are already up there with his older brother so he’s on the right track to make his dreams come true.

“Over the last two years I have seen him open up a little bit, Fewell said. “This is his element. This is what he wants to do. This is what he loves to do.”