Timeout with Aiman Scullion

Brian Thursby

‘I’m trying to focus on being relaxed and running a certain pace or time’

Aiman Scullion towers over his competition in more ways than one.

At 6 feet 4 inches tall, the senior is easy to spot running around campus. At 25 minutes, 32.7 seconds, Scullion is also the 2009 Mid-American Conference men’s cross country individual champion.

Last weekend, Scullion led the Kent State men’s cross country team to its first MAC title in school history. Sports reporter Brian Thursby recently caught up with the long-legged runner for a quick Q and A.

How old were you when you picked up cross country or track as a sport?

I competed in my first meet in third grade. I ran 800 meters on the track, getting third. I was the only third-grader. The rest of the runners were in fourth grade.

When did you start getting noticed for running?

I started receiving a lot of recognition in junior high and then again as a junior in high school. We had a very talented group in high school, and I led the team to two back-to-back state titles.

Where are you from, and why did you choose Kent State?

I was born in Tangier, Morocco, but moved to Salem, Ohio, when I was 10. I went to Salem High School. I chose Kent State because I really like coach (Mark) Croghan, and he was a very experienced runner himself, making three Olympic teams.

How long have you been striving for a MAC championship?

After my freshman year is when I decided I wanted to come back after summer break and make a run at becoming a MAC champion, but as you can see it’s harder than just saying you want to do something, and it took me a while.

About 200 meters from the finish line is when I started to think, “Wow, this is not really going to happen, is it?” After the race I was just so happy that I was on the team that won the first MAC title in Kent cross country history.

What do you think about when you run? Do you ever get a song or anything stuck in your head?

My mind just usually wanders unless I’m in a race or doing a tough workout, and in that case I’m trying to focus on being relaxed and running a certain pace or time. I do find myself running with songs stuck in my head, especially “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus or whatever was on the radio before I get out of the car before practice.

A timeless song to say the least. What do you like to do for fun or to relax after running or training?

I like to eat good food, watch and play other sports, hang out with friends and my girlfriend

You’ve said previously you like to golf. Think you could take me in a round?

I always think I can win, even when that might not be the case. I’m very competitive in everything I do, so I think I would have a very good chance.

You probably could. My golf game usually involves lots of mulligans, screaming and profanity. What are your plans after Kent State?

My plans after college are still not finalized because I have way too many ideas. I would like to continue running and see what I can accomplish.

Contact sports reporter Brian Thursby at [email protected].