Player of the Week: Saleena Abdur-Rashed

By: Anthony Gulizia, News Correspondent

Sophomore track & field athlete Saleena Abdur-Rashed claimed first place in two events this past weekend at the Seahawk Invitational to help Northeastern take a third place finish in Wilmington, N.C. Abdur-Rashed came out on top in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.67, which was an NCAA provisional qualifying time. She also took the 400-meter hurdle, with a time of 1:05.65. Her efforts were enough to earn Huntington News Player of the Week honors.

Despite kicking off the outdoor season with two victories, Abdur-Rashed said she feels there is still work left for her to do.

“It was the first outdoor meet of the season, and even though I won the 100, I felt like my time could have been better,” Abdur-Rashed said.

Abdur-Rashed did not show any signs of first time jitters as she won the 400 hurdles, running the race for the first time in her collegiate career.

“There was pressure because I was in the fastest heat with the highest seed time, so I was nervous,” Abdur-Rashed said. “But I came in first, and my good technique for the hurdles helped me out and gave me a big advantage.”

Abdur-Rashed said the help of sprinting coach Tramaine Shaw has helped her hurdle the task of becoming both a 100 and 400-meter sprinter.

“Coach Shaw has really helped me out, I train with her all the time,” Abdur-Rashed said. “Like myself, she ran both the 100 and 400-meter hurdles and it’s nice to have someone coach you that you can relate to and knows exactly where you’re coming from.”

For the Bronx, N.Y. native, track is where her heart is. Abdur-Rashed has been running since she was six years old, so deciding to run track in college was quite the easy decision, she said. Her mother also ran track, and coached Saleena until she was 12 years old, at which point she switched to a private coach.

Previously running at Delaware State, Abdur-Rashed chose Northeastern after taking a year off.

“I liked to Northeastern because of the co-op program, and I knew some friends from high school that went here so that helped too,” Abdur-Rashed said.

Abdur-Rashed said she hopes to take her track career as far as she can, with hopes of running in the Olympics. However, if she cannot do so, she has a backup plan: Majoring in African American studies with a minor in media production, Abdur-Rashed said she wants to be a high school teacher.

She also expresses a strong interest in coaching track. In the offseason, Abdur-Rashed is the hurdling coach for the club track team that her mother coaches. During the season, she tries to help as much she can by giving the girls advice and giving them workout routines. Last year, she also helped coach at the Spence School for Girls in New York.

Off the track, Abdur-Rashed said she enjoys shopping around the city. Like most athletes, her schedule keeps her very busy, leaving little time for herself. She also enjoys kicking back to relax and watch a movie.

Abdur-Rashed looks to tally another victory as the Huskies host the Husky Spring Open this Saturday at Solomon Track.