Team Player: Mohammed Ahmed

Photo: UW Sports Information

Photo: UW Sports Information

Some people call him Mo. Others call him Mo Speed. And everyone who races against Mohammed Ahmed x’13 calls him fast.

In his rookie season with the Wisconsin men’s track-and-field team, the freshman raced to a fourth-place finish in the 10,000 meters at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships. The effort earned him All-American honors and lowered his Canadian national junior record to 28:57.44.

Born in Somalia, Ahmed moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, eight years ago with his parents and three younger brothers. During high school, he started to make a name for himself in cross-country running and track by competing for Canada at national and international junior championship meets.

Wisconsin wasn’t on his short list during the recruiting process. “Coming from Canada, all I was thinking about was getting out of the cold,” Ahmed recalls. “But when I looked at my running career long term and my development as an athlete, the coaching philosophy here and the strong tradition, Wisconsin fit perfectly.”

Ahmed also competes in the 3,000 meters (indoors), 5,000 meters, and on the Badger cross-country team.

In his sophomore season, Ahmed hopes to improve his indoor running with guidance from UW coach Mick Byrne. “I struggle a bit on a short track that’s not made for my long legs and body,” he says. “But I love running, no matter what. Coming to Wisconsin really rejuvenated my running spirit.”

Published in the Fall 2010 issue

Tags: Athletics, International, Students

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