Junior Aamir Zain’s goal this past fall was not focusing on qualifying for the New York State Cross-Country Meet, but that’s exactly what he did.
Zain finished 31st overall in all of class D for New York State this past Saturday (November 11th) as he crossed the finished line in 17:36. The race took place at Elma Meadows in Elma, New York.
“I didn’t even know I had a shot at the state meet,” said Zain. “It wasn’t until OB (Coach Seth O’Bryan) showed me the (pre-meet) sheet and explained that I had a chance to make it. My goal was to just finish with a good time at sectionals.”
In order to qualify for the state meet, Zain had to finish as one of class D’s top-5 runners in the sectionals race at Genesee Community College. He did and finished 5th overall out of 158 runners in a time of 17:57.
Zain had a great season as he finished as a Wayne/Finger-Lakes All-Star, a Super 7 Award Winner (top-7 at sectional meet), and as a sectionals all-star. He was also HAC’s recipient of the Top Performer award.
Zain credit’s his initial involvement with cross-country to his close friend, teammate and another one of Finger Lakes top runners, junior Russell Hegedorn.
“I never ran before 7th grade until I did track,” said Zain. “Russell was on the track team too and I wasn’t as fast as him back then, but he would wait for me and encouraged me…he got me involved with cross-country in 8thgrade. Russell is the one that got me into running.”
Hegedorn also had a successful season as he finished 9th overall at sectionals and was a Wayne/Finger-Lakes all-star.
Congratulations to the cross-country team on a great season. To learn more about Zain, see below.
Favorite Aspect of the Cross-Country Team:
“The people. I enjoy the people a lot. When I was younger, the upper classmen were really funny kids like Jon Hunn and Nick Mitris (both Allendale Columbia class of ’11) and Duncan Phillips (Allendale Columbia class of ’12) and really good friends. This year the camaraderie on the team has been really nice and the experience has been a lot of fun.”
Coach Seth O’Bryan and Coach Jessica Densmore’s influence on Zain:
“They really know about running and what we should be doing. They know how much we should be running each day. They can answer all of our questions and have raised us as runners. They are like the mother and father of the team.”
Favorite Cross-Country Course: Genesee Community College (sectionals)
Favorite Food: I like most food. Steak, spaghetti, mashed potatoes and Ramen are some of my favorite.
Favorite Music: Florence and the Machine, The Script, Incubus and Red Hot Chili Peppers
Favorite Author/Book: Garth Nix – Old Kingdom series
Favorite Class and Teacher:
Favorite class is mechanics with Dr. Lawlis.
“The class is interesting because Dr. Lawlis is really good at explaining it and it’s really interesting to see how mechanics are applied to the real world. “
Though he’s retired, “Mr. Fujita (retired last year) was one of my favorite teachers. I never had a high aptitude for mathematics, but the way he explained his lessons helped math to click for me and helped me think mathematically. His teaching has helped me now for the math class I’m taking this year.”
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
“I want to go into the sciences. I want to do something chemistry or physics; maybe a chemistry teacher or researcher. I’d like perhaps go to Cornell as it is not too far from home, but far enough.”
Other HAC Sports Zain Competes in: Varsity Swimming (100 yd. backstroke, 100 yd. freestyle, and 50 yd. freestyle), Varsity Track & Field (3200m, and 1600m).