What made you decide to commit to UNC Charlotte?
Charlotte is a good fit for me to reach my goals both academically and athletically. The guys are determined to be seen at the national level. The 49ers are definitely the under dogs, I believe everybody will be watching us preform well at the national level in the upcoming years. Having four local Ethiopian restaurants was just a bonus!
How did you make the final decision and who was involved?
After my official visit, I told my parents that Charlotte is my dream team. It was a matter of being able to attain the right scholarship level. Coach (Joseph) Lynn made that happen. My parents, John and Tina Wilson, and my coaches Cody Ellison and Dave Milliman were involved in the final decision. Without them, it would've been much more difficult to choose a school. Parents and coaches definitely play a major role in the college decision process. I am very thankful to have them in my life!
What did you experience on each visit?
First of all, I really enjoyed meeting the coach, Joseph Lynn! I also enjoyed meeting the academic advisers and the athletic director. The athletic staff interacted like family and that really motivated me to be a part of 49er nation! During my overnight visit, I stayed with one of the team members who is also from Ethiopia! It was special for me to meet another Ethiopian! The fact that the whole team was driven to be the best really drew me to the them. I am very proud to call myself a 49er!
What were your top five choices?
My top five schools were USC Upstate, Lee University, Anderson University, Winthrop University, and UNC Charlotte.
How did you get involved in the sport and why?
I was forced into the sport by my mom. I wanted to play soccer, but my mom had me try track. I won my first track race running the mile in 5:47. My hamstrings were so tight I had to lay down on the ground. I asked myself why I put myself through that. Why I didn't just choose to loose and not get hurt. That cross country season I discovered that I had fire in me to be the best runner that I can be and that is why I put myself through great pains to accomplish what needs to be accomplished.
What has been your biggest challenge?
The seasons I go through without accomplishing my goals are the biggest challenges. Injuries are always a challenge as well.
What did you learn from the experience?
I learned that the sport is challenging and pushes you beyond what you think you can do. Whether you are naturally gifted or not, you have to go through many challenges to accomplish your goals. Success is gold and you have to dig deep to find it. Nobody finds gold better than a 49er!
How is training now that the season is over?
I am recovering from cross country at this moment but plan to start back slowly.
Any top events already preparing for the upcoming seasons?
I might be entering in couple indoor meets in January.
How do you look at your time at Carolina Homeschool?
My time with Carolina Homeschool Cougars is definitely one that I will never forget. My teammates and the whole staff mean so much to me! Specifically, the team founder, Sonya Timmons, my first coach , Ken Roach, and the chairman, David Evans have been invaluable me. It is because of them that I was able to compete at such a high level with schools that are part of the SCHSL. I know I will never be able to fully thank them for all the behind-the-scenes work they did to help me and my teammates accomplish all that we have done.
What will you miss the most?
I will miss my coach, Cody Ellison, and all my teammates.
How do you rate this season?
I rate my cross country season 8 out of 10. I am proud of myself for finishing seventh in the state and 32nd at Foot Locker South!
What would you say is the biggest memory you have?
The biggest memory I have is when I didn't respond to the race coordinator at my very first track meet. Having won first place, he asked for my name and bib number. I didn't understand English so I completely ignored him. Not to mention, I just finished my race and I was too short of breath to even speak. Later on I found out that it was Spartanburg Christian Academy coach, Steve Conway, that tried to talk to me. Now Coach Conway is a great friend and supporter. He and I have had some good laughs over that incident.
What do you hope to study and otherwise achieve in college?
I will be studying nursing and working towards great achievements in the sport with the 49ers! Lord willing, the 49ers will prepare me to run at the professional level.
How does it feel to have the decision made prior to the season?
I feel relieved, refreshed, and relaxed!
How did the Charlotte coaches react when informed?
The day I made my decision, I called the coach, Joseph Lynn, and he was very excited to hear that I will be joining his team next year. He immediately sent a text out to the team. The next morning he posted my decision on their website. He is pleased to have the opportunity to coach me in the future and has set some very high goals for me in my four years there. I look forward to rising to the challenge!