Hazem Miawad, a senior sprinter for the Old Bridge High School track team, has chosen to attend the University of Maryland after graduation. Miawad had a tremendous winter track campaign, winning the 800 at the Meet of Champions with a time of 1:55.10, the top time in New Jersey.
The 800 was something the senior hadn’t run in his career, but a combination of foresight and an injury put Miawad exactly where it seems he needed to be.
“I was told last year by my coach (Jack Campbell) that when I go to college, I’ll most likely be moved up to the 800 anyway so why not try it this winter season. Also in a 4×100 last year, I injured my hamstring, so my coach suggested instead of moving down to the dash in the winter, I could move up to the 400 and the 800,” said Miawad.
“I thought I could be good at it, but I didn’t know how good I could be and I ended up being state champ, so it worked out great,” added the senior.
Miawad thanked his coaches for helping him develop during his time at Old Bridge.
“I am truly blessed to have coaches like coach Campbell and coach (Rich) Gebauer They really know how to build a team and help you progress not only as an athlete, but as a person off the track,” said Miawad. “We’re taught to act like champions, so I really thank them for keeping me humble and making me the best possible athlete I can be.”
Miawad will be in good hands at the University of Maryland as well and the senior believes it will be the best place for him to foster his education and his athletics.
“In the end, I think I made a great decision. The first thing that came to mind was my education,” said Miawad. “I plan on studying kinesiology and Maryland has one of the best programs in the country. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Miawad added, “I just wanted to go to a college that I felt could help me reach my full potential and a coaching staff that will help me be the best possible athlete I can be. The head coach at Maryland is Andrew Valmon, who is an Olympic gold medalist and owned a world record in the 4×400, so that was extremely attractive to me.”
Miawad, for all his recent success in the 800, is no stranger to the 4×400. The senior is the anchor for the Knight’s 4×400 squad that placed second at the Meet of Champions with a time of 3:24.55. Miawad also anchored the 4×400 team his junior year when the squad ran 3:18.38 at the 2014 Millrose Games, running a 49.0 split.
As for his final spring season, the Penn Relays are just around the corner and Miawad is champing at the bit to help his relay team have a big day after missing the event last year.
“Excited isn’t even the word because last year we were supposed to go down and we were one of the favorites to win the gold watches. We actually fell apart. We were all injured and we couldn’t go. To come back this year and to have a chance at Penn is all I could really ask for. I’m really excited about that,” said Miawad.
The rest of the season will also be served to help continue the success at Old Bridge. Miawad is proud of his time as a Knight and won’t waste it just looking forward. He will also try to give back as much as he can before he leaves.
“It’s my last season,” said Miawad. “I just want to help the underclassmen and help them grow, show them how to work hard so once I graduate, they can keep the tradition at Old Bridge track going.”
Staff Writer Matt Silva: firstname.lastname@example.org