North's Waha Sem turning heads in pursuit of greatnessFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt, runs at this summer's Olympics all eyes will be on him. Waha Sem knows the feeling.
By: Trevor Peterson, WDAY
When the fastest man on the planet, Usain Bolt, runs at this summer's Olympics all eyes will be on him. Waha Sem knows the feeling. His reputation, combined with his unique name will have fans and athletes alike stopping what they're doing to watch him at this weekend's State Track meet.
Waha Sem has reached a status few high school track athletes ever do. He is a show stopper.
Gary Mailloux – Fargo North Track Coach: “It's to the point now with Waha, wherever we are, his reputation precedes him. People will watch. They stop, Moms, Dads, athletes, etc, they pay attention when Waha's on the track.”
And why not? After winning State titles in both the 400 and 800 meters as a sophomore, Sem has gone through his entire junior season without losing in either race, which only means even more eyeballs on him this weekend at State.
Waha Sem – State Titles in 400, 800, 4X400: “Lots of people know me now. It's more pressure on me but I can handle the pressure. I like talking with people, I'm a people person.”
Sem holds Fargo North school records in both the 400 and 800. He has the fastest 800 time in the state this season, and 5 of the top 6 fastest 400 meter times, but not the fastest" time.
Desean Thompson – Fargo North Teammate: ”There's a kid from Century that's giving him a run for his money. But I'm sure he'll probably beat him at state.”
Sem, who was born in Sudan, came to Fargo in '99 and first turned heads as a trackster in 6th grade when he placed 2nd in the nation at the prestigious Hershey's Meet in Pennsylvania. He hopes to turn even more heads this weekend.
Trevor: “How come you are such a good 400 and 800 meter runner?”
Waha Sem: “I would say work ethic. I just don't like giving up.”
Gary Mailloux: “He seems to be a natural competitor. He has a will to win.”
Something he's done a whole lot in recent years.