Ali Said - The Montgomery News Athlete of the Month
By Claire O’Farrell | November 1, 2022
Ali Said, a Montgomery High School senior, says he has enjoyed every moment of his membership on the track and cross-country teams. “I started running freshman year during winter track. I had never done track before and wanted to give it a shot. I ended it enjoying it a bunch and have done it since,” he says.
In middle school, Said said he was more focused on basketball. The Montgomery track and X-country teams have many talented runners that compete in races all across New Jersey. Said shared one of his big racing stories that impacted his journey and taught him the importance of not giving up.
“One of my biggest achievements during high school so far is probably hitting a personal record at Phillipsburg this [autumn],” he said. “Two weeks [before], with our race at Pleasant Valley, I ran a time that I wasn’t happy with. Pleasant Valley is a very easy course, and running a bad time there dragged me down.” “Thanks to Coach B, I was able to pick my head up and put in the work that I needed to put in.”
“Going into Phillipsburg, I knew that I just had to stop over thinking and run my own race, and that is what I did.” “Being able to hit a personal record at Phillipsburg gave me a lot more motivation heading into future meets, because now I know that if I did that well at Phillipsburg, I can do it anywhere else.” “Also, it showed me the importance of hard work. If you put in all of the effort that you can, good things will come to you.”
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Motivation is key to keeping an athlete going in any sport. Said shares what keeps him motivated. He said he loves how everyone pushes each other to be the best they can be. One of Said’s biggest motivators was his grandpa. “Something that really motivates me is the loss of my grandfather in 2020. He always acted as an amazing role model for me. His remembrance pushes me to be a better man every day.”
While looking up to his grandpa, he said he is also inspired by his teammates. “I love the fact that this year, our entire team pushes each other an equal amount. Nobody is afraid of criticism, and everybody is motivating one another 24-7.” “I would say ... my favorite experiences during high school so far [have been] going to football games with friends, and hanging out after running at track meets.”