By: Connor Blake, Staff Writer
Yahya Nure, athlete on the Men’s Cross Country team and sophomore majoring in biology from Portland, Maine is blazing the trail with his running ability. This year, Nure has been named Little East Conference (LEC) Runner of the week once, and finished first in the alumni meet. Through his passion for the sport, Nure looks to bring his team to the top.
Nure is entering his second year on the USM Men’s Cross Country team and he is loving it. Before running for the Huskies, he began running his sophomore year at Deering High School in Portland, Maine. During his time there he fell in love with the sport. “At first, I didn’t love it but after my first season I saw that I was somewhat successful at it and it sort of became a passion for me,” said Nure.
After that first year Nure, accomplished a lot. Before graduating from Deering in 2018 he did so with All-State, and All-New England honors during his senior year. The love for running and his home city, made the choice to come to USM an easy one and entering his second year here he still believes that this is where he should be, “I’ve only been here for two years, but I feel like I’ve come so far already and I’m very excited for what is next to come,” said Nure.
During the first season Nure, accomplished a lot. He was named the LEC Rookie of the week of September 3rd, 2018. Nure also finished first at the Alumni Meet race covering the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes and 7 seconds. Not to mention placing 12th at the LEC championship and 92nd at the NCAA Regional Championship. Last but not least, Nure received the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors for 2018. “Coming in the first year, I wanted to accomplish a lot, and not being on the varsity team pushed me even harder to want to get better as a runner,” said Nure.
This season Nure wants to continue on a path of success, in order to do so he had to make some careful decisions off the trails. His first year he worked a 40-60 hour-a-week job, along with going to classes full time, and running 70 miles a week. “I found myself just pushing my body to the limit and I really didn’t give cross country, or school the time it deserved and I just felt burnt out overall,” said Nure.
Therefore he has decided to make a change and decided to not work during the current school year, “Being a commuter student, and not working has allowed me to have the time to go to school full time, attend classes and do all my homework,” said Nure. “It has also allowed me the ability to go to the Gorham Campus and just run and let loose. I can do all of this and still have time for a day off which has helped me a lot this year.”
After having much success his first year it has left Nure hungry for improvement in his sophomore season. Having finished 11th at the Bates Super XC Shootout as well as being named the LEC Conference Runner of the week for September 2nd, 2019. Nure has accomplished all of this early on, but his main focus is on the teams success. “Sure I have individual goals such as time goals, but my number one goal is to have the team be number 1 in the LEC.”
Part of what will help contribute to the goals is the closeness of the team and help from a supportive coaching staff. “Coach (Ryan Harkleroad) is always around to remind you about how he is here to help, and that there isn’t any shame in asking for it, as for the running he has helped with the mental aspect telling us to listen to our body to prevent injuries,” said Nure.
When it comes to what he wants to do after school is done he thinks it will leave him with a similar feeling, “I want to one day be an athletic trainer for my old high school. I loved it there, and it is where I met running, and I would love to get back there and help out other athletes,” said Nure.
The Men’s Cross Country team has four meets remaining, with their next one onSaturday, September 19th at the Suffolk Invitation at Franklin Park, Boston.