Abdirizak Abukar entered his senior indoor track and field season with one goal: Win a state title. 

Lewiston track and field standout Abdirazak Abukar runs on the track at the start of practice Wednesday at Lewiston High School. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The Lewiston High School senior followed through, winning the 55-meter dash at the Class A state meet with a time of 6.59 seconds. He nearly won a couple more state titles, placing second in the 200-meter dash (22.56) and the 400-meter (50.42).

“My biggest goal was I wanted to win a state title,” Abukar said. “I got that done, and I also wanted to get some records.”

Abukar, who has been selected as the Sun Journal’s All-Region Boys Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year, set school records in the three sprint events at the state meet.

“That was one of the best meets I’ve ever seen and one of the proudest experiences in track I’ve ever been a part of,” Lewiston track coach Steve Virgilio said. “What Abdirizak did at that meet, to have three school records, three personal records, a state title, and I think he ended up being the second-leading scorer. He had 26 points.

“He was phenomenal, he really was.”

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Abukar’s performance helped the Blue Devils take second. They also won the KVAC championship earlier in the month.

In the 55-meter preliminary races at the state meet, Abukar’s teammate, Raimundo Lubota, bested him with a 6.59 (which ties Abukar’s school record), which was second best behind Gorham’s Andrew Farr (6.50). Abukar was third, at 6.70. 

Lewiston track and field standout Abdirizak Abukar before the start of practice Wednesday at Lewiston High School. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“In the final (Farr) has both of them to the sides of him which has to be a little intimidating,” Virgilio said. “Those are two big kids, and Farr isn’t the biggest. He false-started, which opened it up for our guys to finish one-two, and Abdirizak won the title.”

Abukar followed that victory with an impressive runner-up finish in the 200. 

“His 200 time, 22.56, officially is the second-fastest time on a flat 200-meter track in Maine high school history,” Virgilio said. “22.48 by the winner, Farr, was the fastest. There were two times in Maine high school history that were better, but they were run on a banked track.”

Abukar’s 400-meter performance also was impressive performance, especially considering he had only run the event twice prior to the state — once in the regular season and at the KVAC championships.

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In the regular season, Abukar ran a 54.42 in his only regular season attempt. It only got faster from there.

“He has great speed in the 55, 100, and 200, and this year he finally broke out in the 400,” Virgilio said. “His first time was 54.42, which is nothing phenomenal for the speed he has. The next time he ran (was) in the conference (meet); he ran 51.75 and won the KVAC 400. That’s quite the improvement and it was starting to get pretty serious. In Maine, we’re noticing that time. He followed that with a 50.42 at the state meet. He was behind the same Gorham kid, and he got the school record in that.”

Lewiston’s Abdirizak Abukar is the 2021-22 Boys Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Abukar said Virgilio was a major part of his improvements and accomplishments this season. 

“I put in the training and listened to coach,” Abukar said. “I listened to coach, warmed up right. It all matters. He helped me out every step and I don’t think I could’ve done it without him. He really helped me a lot. Coming into the season, preparing for the season. He would text me and send me race plans, how to eat right, sleep right, all that.”

This spring, Abukar wants to chase down some new, yet still lofty goals in the upcoming outdoor track and field season.

“Same type of thing, I want to get some state records,” Abukar said. “I want to try to get the 100, 200 and the 400. I think I can get them. My favorite was the 200, and I always think I run a good 200.”

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