Annandale:- If the Northern Region Cross Country Championships were run two weeks ago, Annandale's Ahmed Bile wouldn't have participated.
He couldn't have. A nagging foot injury kept him out for seven weeks.
Bile returned just in time to warm up his legs and become the region champion, as his time of 15:22.30 earned him the individual crown, beating 124 other runners.
"He's got the heart of the lion," Annandale cross-country coach David O'Hara said of Bile. "I've never seen a kid like this."
Watch Photos Here
O'Hara purposely kept Bile out of competition for much of the season because he was worried about any further injury that could delay Bile's indoor season.
"I knew that on sloppy conditions today that if it went out a little slower and he was there and with a quarter-mile to go or 800 meters, then he was going to win, " O'Hara said. "I just kept telling him that and he believed and I believed it."
With 800 meters remaining in the race Bile slipped and thought all hope was lost, but his background as a sprinter, got him back in the race.
"After I fell and got back up for about ten meters I thought it was over so I kind of gave up," Bile said. "But the first two runners started to slow down and it looked like they were dying off so I just jumped at the chance to use my speed. "
After only training for the past three weeks Bile, said maintaining his stamina was the hardest test to conquer.
"Once I got the speed, I could just focus on endurance," Bile said.
Even though he slipped four or five times and fell once, a 45-degree day is the perfect environment for him.
"I liked it because when it gets really hot I'm just always tired," Bile said. "I like the cool weather."
The boy's teams from West Potomac, Lake Braddock, South Lakes and Herndon all advanced to the state meet, while Lake Braddock, Thomas Jefferson, West Potomac and West Springfield advanced on the girl's side. Sophie Chase of Lake Braddock won the individual girls title.
The VHSL State Cross Country Championship meet is on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Great Meadow in The Plains. The AAA girls race starts at 10:30 a.m. and the boys race is at 11:15 a.m. Admission is $8.
Bile's next race will be at the VHSL State Cross Country Championship on Saturday, Nov. 13 at Great Meadow in The Plains. The AAA boys race starts at 11:15 a.m. Admission is $8.
Source: Annandale Patch
Annandale's Ahmed Bile Father