To him, running is a fact of life

"I will always run,'' says the Wharton senior, a middle distance runner, as he prepares for the district and state meets.

Published March 26, 2006

NEW TAMPA - For fun, exercise and a future, Sadat Kahin has made running a part of his daily routine for years.

The Wharton High School senior started competing at 14 as a member of the Christian Cruisers Youth Track Club in Tampa. Now he has hopes of winning an individual state championship in track in April.

Kahin is one of the top track athletes in Hillsborough County and part of the Wharton Wildcats boys team, which has a good chance of placing in the Class 3A top five at the state meet this year.

Wharton boys track coach Clarence Williams says Kahin began his running career with hopes of becoming a sprinter, but gradually moved up into middle distance events, where he excels.

"Like many excellent runners, Sadat had his dreams of becoming a sprinter, but soon learned he needed a little distance to do his best," Williams said. "He was already a middle distance runner when he came to us."

Williams added that Kahin is a very intelligent athlete and that the middle distance events allow his intelligence to become a part of his sport.

"Sprinters just go full speed from start to finish," he said. "In middle distance races, he has splits to measure and times to meet at intervals. That gives him room for strategy, which he uses well as he improves."

Kahin runs the 400- and 800-meter individual events and also helps in the mile and 2-mile relays.

By the time district meets begin in April, he and Williams will have to decide on the three events he can compete in to earn a berth for the state meet.

He first gained prominence in high school competition in his sophomore season at Wharton. He placed seventh in the state meet in the 400 and helped the 4x400 relay team earn a fifth-place finish.

Last year, he was part of Wharton's 4x800 relay team that placed third in the state. Ryan Courtney, Willie Folks and Jose Rodriguez were the other members of that relay.

"I train every school day with my team, but I don't stop there," Kahin said. "I run six days a week to stay in shape, plus it is just part of my lifestyle. I guess everybody needs at least one day of rest."

Williams said the three events Kahin will compete in starting with the district meet have not been decided. But they're becoming clear as time goes on.

"The good part in making those decisions with Kahin is his strength and endurance allows him to compete in back-to-back races," Williams said. "He is simply an exceptionally durable athlete."

Kahin takes his studies seriously also. He says he keeps his GPA above 3.0 and is already preparing for college. He has already signed a scholarship with Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.

He wants to be an accountant and will seek a degree in business accounting.

"Some things are pretty well set in my life, even now," he said. "I will always run, even if just to stay healthy.

"People will always be dealing with money and all businesses will need accountants. That is how I plan to earn a living."