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Promising career on horizon for Mubarak

Nabil Mubarak's career as a thrower in track and field has just begun.

The Grayson senior only has two years of competition in the sport behind him, yet he already has accomplished so much.

He won Gwinnett County and Region 8-AAAAA titles for the second straight year this spring and later claimed the Class AAAAA state championships in the discus and shot put.

But that's just the base for the Daily Post's Field Performer of the Year. Mubarak will throw next season at Penn State, where he hopes his career will flourish.

"I feel the next four or five years in college are just going to be real pivotal years and real important in my success and what I do," said Mubarak, who plans to major in engineering. "Where I go, who coaches me and what I do when I go there is going to determine what happens after college. Whether I try to get to the Olympics or all that good stuff."

A year ago, the Olympics may have seemed like a crazy dream. Mubarak had a strong junior campaign during the regular season, but faced his first taste of adversity at the state meet. A favorite to win the discus and shot put state titles, Mubarak took fifth in the discus and did not place in the shot put after three scratches.

"Up to that day, everything was going up for me," Mubarak said. "That was kind of the first big fall when it came to the whole throwing thing for me. Things happen and you have to accept when things happen and there's no use beating yourself down about it."

A month later, Mubarak rebounded nicely by earning All-American honors in the discus, hammer throw and shot put.

He followed that up with an impressive indoor season over the winter, placing third at a national meet in New York in the shot put and fourth in the weight throw in Boston.

That left Mubarak with one thing to do this season - win state and end his high school career on a good note.

"I definitely felt like with the momentum I had at the time that I could get it going, there was no other option pretty much," Mubarak said.

Mubarak set a personal record of 162 feet, 9 inches to claim his second straight county discus title. He won the region crown and threw 162-1 to secure the AAAAA state championship.

However, his future in throwing will be in the shot put, where he as a career best of 63 feet, 1/4 inch and also won county, region and state championships. His mark of 60-31/2 at state was the second-best in all five classifications at the state meet.

"It was a great end to the high school season, but in a couple of weeks I have nationals and doing really well at those will make this great end even better," Mubarak said.

Mubarak plans to compete in the Nike Nationals, U.S. Juniors and USATF Junior Nationals this summer. They are some of the top meets in the country and one includes college freshmen in the field.

Mubarak's throwing career is still young, but he's seen a glimpse of his potential. He has big goals for his college career, like setting school records and scoring points at the Big 10 championships as a freshman. He wants to win a conference title and a national title and the Olympics also are on his mind.

"I'm excited to do big things and keep pushing it," Mubarak said.

Runner of the year: Ethan Kasson, Parkview, Sr.

Won 400-meter state title and was on 1,600 relay team that won state championship, leading Panthers to Class AAAAA team championship

Field performer of the year: Nabil Mubarak, Grayson, Sr.

Won Class AAAAA state titles in shot put and discus

Coach of the year: Mark Whitley, Parkview

Led Parkview to first boys track and field state championship; also repeated as Gwinnett County and Region 8-AAAAA champs

FIRST TEAM

100: Jalanni James, Meadowcreek, Sr.

Won Gwinnett County championship

200: Jonathan Krause, South Gwinnett, Jr.

Runner-up at county and Region 8 meets

400: Kevin Gary, South Gwinnett, Soph.

Placed third at AAAAA state meet

800: Billy Kovalczyk, Grayson, Jr.

Won county title, placed fourth at state meet

1,600: Kirubel Erassa, Grayson, Jr.

Won AAAAA state title

3,200: Tyler Anyan, Brookwood, Jr.

Won AAAAA state title

110, 300 hurdles: Aleec Harris, Duluth, Sr.

Won AAAAA state title in both

Discus: Kevin Darley, Mill Creek, Sr.

Placed second at AAAAA state meet

Shot put: T.J. Davilmar, Dacula, Sr.

Placed second at AAAAA state meet

Pole vault: Michael Kopanski, Mill Creek, Jr.

Won AAAAA state title

High, long jump: TaRon Squires, Parkview, Sr.

Won county title and Region 8 title, fifth at state meet in high jump, third at state in long jump

Triple jump: Julian Vann, Parkview, Jr.

Won AAAAA state title

SECOND TEAM

100: Julian Vann, Parkview, Jr.

Placed second at county and Region 8 meets

200: Kevin Gary, South Gwinnett, Soph.

Placed third at county

400: Dezman Cage, Norcross, Jr.

Placed third at county meet

800: Joe Sokohl, Collins Hill, Sr.

Won Region 7 title, placed sixth at state meet

1,600: Brian Detweiler, Parkview, Sr.

Placed second at state meet

3,200: Robert Fenesterer, Peachtree Ridge, Sr.

Won Region 7 title, placed fifth at state meet

110 hurdles: Robert Edwards, Brookwood, Jr.

Placed third at state meet

300 hurdles: Joey Mooney, Mill Creek, Sr.

Placed sixth at state meet

Discus: Kyle Kinser, GAC, Sr.

Placed third at AA state meet

Shot put: Corbin Reynolds, GAC, Sr.

Won AA state title

Pole vault: Aaron Chamblee, Mill Creek, Sr.

Placed second in AAAAA state meet

High jump: Darius Smith, Shiloh, Sr.

Placed second at county and Region 8 meets

Triple jump: Darryl Marlow, Norcross, Jr.

Placed fourth at state meet

Long jump: Eugene Glenn, Shiloh, Jr.

Placed sixth at state meet