Hany Ramadan has been through many challenges. As a young child he moved with his family from Sudan to Egypt to escape a violent nation. Seven years later they moved to Virginia as his family sought a more peaceful home.

And just when life seemed simpler, Ramadan and his family moved to Maine at the start of his junior year of high school, putting the promising sprinter in one of the coldest states.

Through it all, the only thing that has slowed the Deering High senior is injuries. After a hamstring injury sidelined Ramadan for the 2014 indoor season, he took second outdoors in the 400 (49.52 seconds), then was on the final stretch of the 200 when he heard his quadriceps pop.

Ramadan, who had a personal-best time of 22.78 seconds, kept running to finish in 27.82 – 26th place.

“I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to stop.’ Because I had wanted the state record in the 400 and the 200,” Ramadan said.

After a summer off, the addition of a personal trainer and a full season of training, Ramadan is now one of New England’s top 200- and 400-meter runners.

He won both events at the Class A indoor state meet in February, with a state-record time (49.78) in the 400. Then he took third in the 600 (1:22.34) at the New England championships.

For his breakout season and dominance in Maine, Ramadan is the Maine Sunday Telegram boys’ indoor track athlete of the year.

With an easy smile and natural exuberance, he tells stories about growing up in Egypt and how he came to run track. He describes how a track coach in Cairo spotted him playing soccer at age 12 and challenged him: Run a 400 and earn a spot on my team.

Ramadan warmed up and without knowing how to pace himself, ran a 64-second quarter-mile.

“That’s pretty good for someone who had never run one before. He has a kick. He has another gear,” Deering Coach Gerry Myatt said.

Having achieved some of his goals, Ramadan’s next set has come sharply into focus. He wants one more state record, maybe two. And he wants to excel for an NCAA Division I school.

Ramadan’s personal best in the 400 is 49.52. The Class A state record is 48.58, but Ramadan believes he can get there.

“I’ve worked with Coach on speed, being powerful and explosive,” Ramadan said. “We’ve worked on my block starts. I’m much faster.”

Deirdre Fleming can be reached at 791-6452 or:

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