Photo by John Roemer
Abdulazeez Idowu has been one of the top mid-distance runners in the 1A classification since he transferred from Laurel to Fairmont Heights three years ago. Over that time he has shown impressive range, from a 38.38 300 to a 2:01.60 800 and being a key member of the Hornets' 4x200, 4x400 and 4x800 relays. He has also captured four state titles: one in the 500 this past winter, and three as a member of the 4x400 relay.
He took his game to new heights during his senior year, lowering his 400 time from 53.01 to 51.47, and his 500 time from 1:10.65 to 1:08.50 (the latter of which was his state championship performance). Along with classmates Tyreke Thompson, Ryan Walker and Tim Allen the Fairmont Heights boys will be saying goodbye to an outstanding core of mid-distance runners this year.
What was your most memorable race moment?
My most memorable race was the 1A indoor states of my senior year when I won my first individual title in the 500 and also PR'd.
Who would you consider your biggest competition during your high school career?
My biggest competition was my own teammates, Tyreke Thompson. He has been my competition ever since I transferred to Fairmont Heights for my sophomore year. We both ran the 500 and the 800. We somehow always ended up in the same heat and we would always go back and forth beating each other. Sometimes at meets we would only worry about beating each other - I don't know why, to be honest, but that's just how it was.
Photo by John Roemer
What was your greatest accomplishment?
Winning three straight 1A 4x400 titles and winning a 1A 500 title.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your high school running career?
I would change my freshman and sophomore years. I wish I would have taken track more seriously because during those years I wasn't even thinking about going past the high school level with track. I only ran track to keep myself in shape for football but I realized that I was actually getting good, so then during my junior and senior years I started to focus more on track. I could have probably had some fast times as a freshman and sophomore if I had been serious about track.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
The most difficult obstacle I had to overcome was when my hamstring was hurting really bad before indoor states started. I qualified for the state meet in four events and I had a really bad hamstring but I didn't want to sit the state meet out. I realized that if I sat out for the state meet I would let a lot of people down so I ran through the pain and actually ran pretty well in my races - but after the meet I started to feel the pain build up even more.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss making jokes with my coaches and teammates. Even though we had a lot of ups and downs it was a fun - and funny - senior year. I will also miss running the first leg for the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. I didn't really like the 4x800 relays but I enjoyed popping for the team, and it was actually fun giving my team a lead on the relays all the time.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
Please be serious about track if you want to take it to the next level! Also, always think positive about your races, never negative. Trust me, if you're always thinking positive your races will be so great and you will feel great about it.
What influence has your coach had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
My coach influenced me a lot by not only making be a better runner on the track but also making me a better person off the track. He would always tell me, "If you're always being a good person then watch your performances start to become better and better." Sophomore and junior years my attitude was always negative and my coach would always talk to me to see if I would change, so it was my senior year that my coach started to realize my attitude had become very positive and that I had become a great runners and my times started to drop.
What are your college plans?
As of right now I am still looking for the college that will perfectly fit me and that decision will be made this month (June 2017).
Would would you like to say "thank you" to?
I would like to say thank you to my parents, brothers, coaches and teammates for making me become a better person on and off the track and also supporting me throughout all my years at Fairmont Heights!