Athlete of The Issue: Ashraf Mathkour

Brian, Tan

Ashraf Mathkour has taken the saying “run like the wind” to new distances, especially in the 800 meter race.  One of the friendliest faces on campus, Mathkour realized his potential during his sophomore year and took his talents to new heights during his junior year.

“I was pretty good in eighth grade, but once I got to freshman year in high school, all the upperclassmen were way faster than me and I was kind of shocked,” said Mathkour.  “Then during junior year, my coach encouraged me to run my first 800 meter race, and I won the race without ever practicing the 800.”

And just like that, Mathkour has literally hit the ground running with his high school track career.
Mathkour has had a love for soccer since he was a little boy, and continued to play on varsity as a sophomore and junior at Miramonte.

But as he realized his potential in track, he shifted his focus to track and quit soccer for his senior year in fear of getting injured and to better prepare for the track season.  “I loved soccer, and quitting soccer when I was a returning senior was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make,” Mathkour said.
During his junior year, his 4×800 relay team recorded the fourth best time in the nation at the prestigious Arcadia race.  Mathkour has continued to run the 800, some relays and 400 races, and is currently favored to win NCS in the 800 after winning DFAL and his NCS heat.  As a relative nobody entering the DFAL championships at Acalanes last year, a senior from Acalanes, Toshi Kellog, was the heavy favorite to win the 800 race.

During the race, Mathkour was able to keep up with him, and during the last lap Kellogg was leading with nobody but Mathkour in sight.  Mathkour turned on the jets in the last 200 meters and won the race, shocking everyone in attendance.

He was the only Miramonte track athlete to go on to state last year and posted a then-personal record time at the State Championship, placing 14th.

This year, Mathkour became the third person in Miramonte history to run a sub-48 second race in the 4×400 relay.

The 4×400 team missed the longstanding school record by 0.01 seconds.

On Friday, May 13, at the DFAL championships, Mathkour won the 800 for the second year in a row, won the 4×400 relay for the third year in a row, and his relay team came 0.05 seconds short of winning the 4×100 race.  This year he is ranked first in NCS for the 800, and is returning seeded seventh in state.

Mathkour has taken advantage of his potential and opportunities in track, and college coaches from USF, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, Claremont McKenna were some of the schools that offered him scholarships to run and attend their college and track program.  He has decided on attending Claremont McKenna in Southern California this fall.