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Moments after being presented the Dr. Ben Walker Award as Hillsborough County's top male cross country runner Thursday, Sickles senior Abdin Fator confirmed he'll sign next month with FSU.
The Tampa Bay Times' male runner of the year for 2012, Fator said he had narrowed his college choices to the Seminoles and the University of North Florida. He'll receive a financial-aid package to attend FSU, the extent of which hasn't been finalized.
A Sudan native whose family's fight to escape oppression in that country was documented by the Times last fall, Fator owns a 4.07 GPA and is involved in several local community service projects. He had a breakthrough senior season, winning six races including the Hillsborough County Championships and Class 3A, District 8 meet.
He placed 19th at the state meet in 3A, arguably Florida's deepest classification.
FSU's cross country team, coached by former longtime USF coach and Chamberlain High alumnus Bob Braman, won last season's NCAA South Region Championship and placed fifth at the NCAA Championship in Louisville, Ky. The track team, also coached by Braman, has won seven ACC and two national outdoor titles since 2005.
PHOTO: Brendan Fitterer, Times