Hassan Mohamed might not be the best out of the gate, but he certainly makes up for it with his ability.

The Lewiston High School indoor track star was last year’s runner-up in the 55- and 200-meter races at the Class A State Championships.

“The 55, 200, and relays are my favorite events,” said Hassan Mohamed, who is a junior. “I like to compete, have fun, to cheer on all my friends and teammates.”

For Lewiston head coach TJ Niles, he knows Mohamed can run, but Nile also believes Mohamed can be better with the proper technique.

“He’s naturally fast and there’s so much you can do at the 55 distance. For him, it’s always been working with his start,” Niles said. We are always drilling that into him and working with him on relays.”

“We work a lot with him on blocks and relay passes. In both instances, you can have 100 starts and 100 relay passes, and you never have (two) that are the same. It frustrating, but it’s something if we can get him to work on, he has the fastest top-end speed in the state.”

Niles said Mohamed is the type of kid who works hard and needs to be monitored so he doesn’t over work himself.

“He gets along with his teammates really well. He gets frustrated when the relay gets screwed up because he wants to do well for the team,” Niles said.

Mohamed also will run the 400-meter race when called upon when the team is in a pinch. With the strength of the track and cross country programs at Lewiston, Mohamed can count on his teammates to challenge him during training and practices. Niles said that’s a benefit to have others to push Mohamed during workouts.

For Mohamed, he likes the relay events because it gets other teammates involved in a race.

“Relay races are fun because it’s four guys. You do you best and hand (the baton) off,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed didn’t start running track until he entered the eighth grade. Niles has seen major growth in him the last few seasons.

“My other coach in eighth grade said I could one day be a star,” Mohamed said. “I just need to keep working hard.”

“When I got him as a freshman, he had a really hard head,” Niles added. “He barely knew what blocks were. He never used blocks. He barely used spikes and trying to explain to him you will run faster with spikes, you will run faster with blocks. I saw some of his races in eigthth grade and saw how slow he was at starting.”

Niles has his goals set high for Mohamed this season.

“I would like him to win the 55 and 200 every meet, and see what he can do at the New England Championships down in Boston,” Niles added.

Both Niles and Mohamed talk about what the future may hold this season and after high school.

“He’s confident, but he’s not cocky at the same time,” Niles said. “I try to keep him focus and not try to load his head up or anything.”

Mohamed said he can work on his focus and improve in practice. He also said he’s not putting pressure on himself for the upcoming season.

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