Abdullah-Muhammad staying a Raider
by By RICHARD ROBERTS Banner Sports Editor
Feb 14, 2013 | 1353 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CLEVELAND STAR ATHLETE Atarah Abdullah-Muhammad, seated center, has signed a scholarship with Middle Tennessee and will become part of the track and field team. Pictured with Abdullah-Muhammad are Ursula Langford, mother; and Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad, sister. Standing, from left, are Howard Langford, uncle; Kelly Conn, CHS coach; Valerie Capps, CHS coach; Casey Price, CHS head coach; and Danny Murphy, CHS coach. Banner photo, RICHARD ROBERTS
CLEVELAND STAR ATHLETE Atarah Abdullah-Muhammad, seated center, has signed a scholarship with Middle Tennessee and will become part of the track and field team. Pictured with Abdullah-Muhammad are Ursula Langford, mother; and Qetuwrah Abdullah-Muhammad, sister. Standing, from left, are Howard Langford, uncle; Kelly Conn, CHS coach; Valerie Capps, CHS coach; Casey Price, CHS head coach; and Danny Murphy, CHS coach. Banner photo, RICHARD ROBERTS
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Atarah Abdullah-Muhammad plans to run straight toward her future — literally.

After considering Lee University, the 4.0 GPA Cleveland High School senior athlete decided the comfort level and familiarity of the Middle Tennessee State University campus was the best fit for her to continue her education and track career.

“I’m going to MTSU. I’m going there because I love the campus. The track team seems like it has a lot of good energy and I can get better and prosper there,” Abdulah-Muhammad said of her college choice.

“It helps that we go there every year for state track. That is really comforting. Plus I have a lot of connections there and I love the campus, it’s so beautiful.”

Cleveland track coach Casey Price said Abdullah-Muhammad should have little trouble figuring out the nuances of college athletics.

“There is always that period of adjustment coming in out of high school. The learning curve for her will be a little bit different because they will add indoor track, and outdoor track will last until June,” Price said of his senior star. “I think she will fit right in. Once she gets in the weight room the early part of probably August, because they start from Day 1, I think she will make a great transition.”

Abdullah-Muhammad said she isn’t sure exactly what to expect, but whatever comes her way, she will continue to push forward and stay focused on the task at hand.

“I have no idea what to expect,” Abdullah-Muhammad admitted. “I just know at the end of the day I have to work hard. As long as I keep pushing myself to get better that’s all that matters.”

“A lot of hard work is required and keeping myself in order, keeping myself organized and focused on the goals I set for myself, will be important.”

As for her studies Abdullah-Muhammad plans to choose between the psychology or legal fields. But, as it is with many future college freshmen, decisions can change at any time if a better opportunity presents itself.

“I want to get better every year and find myself. I am thinking about psychology or law. I’m also still dabbling in some areas, but those are the two I am looking at,” she said.

“I like being in a big area, but it is somewhere I can prosper. It is separate from my family but at the same time it is not too far. I can always go back home for a visit if I need to.”

Price said the speedy jumper should have few problems in her new environment. Athletically and academically the Blue Raiders coach said Abdullah-Muhammad’s transition to the next level should be relatively seamless, with nothing but open track ahead.

“She is a classy student athlete and an amazing woman. I have enjoyed watching her grow the last couple of years. I knew about her coming out of middle school and once we got a hold of her I knew we would be able to do something special,” he stated.

“She is a 4.0 student and has several options academically, so she will never struggle in the classroom which is something you look for in all your athletes. You add to that her athletic background, she is just going to take off. I am really looking forward to this time next year when I can see she has already competed in several different meets.”