Owl Outlook

The Student News Site of William Cullen Bryant High School


Owl Outlook

The Student News Site of William Cullen Bryant High School

Owl Outlook

Owl Outlook

Student Spotlight: Salma el Bezzaoui


For this month’s Bryant Spotlight, we have Salma el Bezzaoui, a hard working, determined and ambitious track runner. If you’re looking for passionate responses to questions you might have, below is my pleasant interview with Salma! Don’t forget to wish her good luck on the upcoming Half Marathon in Brooklyn on May 18th!  

Q:  So first, I want to know which sport teams are you in currently? 

A: Starting junior year, I joined cross country, and now I’m doing cross country, indoor and outdoor track. 

Q: What inspired you to join the team?

A: Well, last year I just moved to the country, so I didn’t know what sports I would join. I didn’t have any experience because most sports usually go to JV and then they become varsity. But for running, I thought it was an individual sport. With time, I just fell in love with it. Whenever I’m feeling down, I can just go for a run. It makes me feel better. And then now I compete. So it’s nice. 

Q: What as an athlete do you need to do to maintain your physique in this sport? 

A: At first I didn’t really care because I thought you know the more you practice the better you become. That’s true. But then my brother, he’s a coach. I would always ask him about track, and he would always tell me, do not focus on how you look. Focus on the performance. I also changed my diet. Now I know what to eat and what’s right for me. I know that every meal should have carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. You just have to be more aware. 

Q: Do you think as an athlete there are certain obstacles that you face in this sport?

A: I would say progress is not linear like in every sport. However, I feel like because it’s an individual sport, of course it’s not linear, especially as a female. That’s one obstacle. But the more you understand your body. Like before I thought I was weak. I thought something was wrong. But then once I started learning more and doing my own research, I knew that it’s normal because it’s my nature as a female athlete. The second obstacle I would say is competition, because when I started running, I started by myself. I didn’t join any team. But then once you compete, you see different people, different paces, different levels. 

Q: We also know that you’re a part of the student government. How is that? Do you think it’s challenging keeping your balance? 

A: I would say it’s all about prioritizing because the student government has weekly meetings and that’s the only day when I miss practice, But because I prioritize, I mean my athletic journey. So I try to go to practice every single day. If I have a meet, I would of course go to the meet. So I think it’s hard to balance, but it’s just about prioritizing. 

Q: Can you share a memorable/funny experience that you had in one of your meets you remember to this day?

A: It just happened recently, actually. I’m a mid to long distance runner so I run long distances.  Our last indoor track meet. I had my best PR, I would say so for the 300m. When I first tried it, it was I think around 59 seconds. Then the last meet was championships. So they can decide if you’re going to the cities or not. And it was 52. I don’t know how, but what’s funny is when I was running because I was so happy that I got so fast by mistake I switched lanes. So I got disqualified even though it was my best PR. I mean it’s okay, but it was funny. 


Q: What’s some advice you would give to maybe some freshmen in the school or people in general if they want to get into running/finding passion in running?

A: I would say. Do not listen to people. My brother is still telling me, even some of my teachers say, oh, you’re just running around in circles. And they think it’s easy. And a lot of people, they say, oh, track is not a sport, or cross country is not a sport. I mean, I agree in a way, but it’s challenging and I like it. I do it because I like it. I feel way better physically, mentally, I’m just more confident because I know I can achieve goals, and becoming faster is not easy. A lot of sports require it. So I would just end it with this, I don’t know who said it, but I like it,  that you cannot do the same thing and expect different results. So in terms of practice, you can go to every single practice and expect to be better than others or just better than better. Yeah, I would say you have to do the extra work. Don’t kill yourself. It’s all about balance. But you have to do the extra work. Yeah.


Okay! This is Salma, everyone!

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About the Contributor
Humaira Jannat
Humaira Jannat, Contributor
Humaira is a junior in William Cullen Bryant High School. She enjoys running in the mornings and reading late at night. She loves to bake, journal and capture life through her digital camera.