Fatima Abu-Rumman, Osceola
Fatima Abu-Rumman knew she had a chance to become Osceola's No. 1 runner this season. To claim that title, the junior trained over the summer by attending team conditioning and camp.
But as the season began, Abu-Rumman developed a sinus infection. She labored through races, finishing not only behind opponents but teammates. Still, she kept pushing.
Last week, she could finally see her work paying dividends. Abu-Rumman finished second at the Viking Invitational in a season-best 21 minutes, 20 seconds. She also helped the Warriors win the team title with 37 points.
"I felt like that was my best race of the season," Abu-Rumman said. "The sinus infection was tough, and my times were not what I would have liked them to be. But I'm starting to get over it and getting better."
Abu-Rumman grew up playing soccer, but gave up the sport after trying out for cross county as a freshman.
"I just liked running enough that I knew that's what I wanted to concentrate on," she said.
Last year, she was among the Warriors' top three runners and helped the team stay competitive at most meets. After starting this season with times hovering around 22 minutes, she has consistently improved.
Abu-Rumman said her goals are to finish in the top 10 at the conference meet and run in the low 20-minute mark by the end of the season.
"I would even like to get into the 19s if I could," Abu-Rumman said. "I'm just going to keep working hard to get there."
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Willie Parker, Carrollwood Day
Early in Carrollwood Day's district matchup with Canterbury last Friday, linebacker/running back Max Frankel went down with an injury.
The senior's absence meant someone else had to step up. And that's exactly what running back Willie Parker did.
Parker, who also plays linebacker, scored four touchdowns - including a 61-yarder - in Carrollwood Day's 25-22 Class 2A-5 win, rushing for 178 yards on 14 carries. The win keeps the Patriots (2-2, 1-1) in the playoff hunt.
It was the first time Parker has scored four times in a game for the Patriots, but coach Lane McLaughlin wasn't surprised by his 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior's outburst.
"The thing about him, he's one of those guys you know that no matter where he is on the field, if he gets the ball he's got a chance to score six points for you," McLaughlin said. "We wouldn't have the success we have without him."
A year ago, Parker rushed for 1,019 yards. This season through four games, the senior has 633 yards and seven touchdowns.
"He makes a good coach look like a great coach," McLaughlin said.
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