Rising star: Moustafa Tiea ’25

Competing in varsity races against much older runners. Freshmen Moustafa Tiea reflects on his time running varsity with West High cross country and track.


Photo courtesy of Moustafa Tiea

Moustafa Tiea ’25 runs at the UNI-Dome during the Dickinson Relays on March 8.

West Side Story: What made you first want to do track and cross country?

Moustafa Tiea ’25: When I was a kid, in like second grade we would have these races and I would do really well. We would also have track and field days and I would win my events. Then in middle school, I ran into the coach and he said I should do cross country, and I did it and I figured out I was really good at it and it was something new to try.

WSS: Who is your biggest inspiration?

MT: Alex Mckane ’22 and Caden Noeller ’22 are like my go-to mentors.

WSS: What were your first impressions of West High athletics?

MT: The way the coach described it to me, it seemed like it’d be really hard to be a good runner. But he sort of walked me through the process of actually getting a good spot and getting on varsity.

WSS: What was the transition like from Junior high to high school?

MT: It feels like the sport is more professional. It’s also more fun cause there are more track events and cross country courses are a lot longer too.

WSS: What does it feel like being on varsity as a freshman?

MT: No doubt, it makes me feel super special, but I still have to work to keep my spot. It makes me feel like I am really good.

MT: No doubt, it makes me feel super special. But I still have to work to keep my spot. But it makes me feel like I am really good. 

WSS: Are you ever intimidated by your older opponents?

MT: Yeah, all the time. If they are like a junior or senior I think “oh no I am not going to be good”

WSS: How do you deal with that intimidation?

MT: I just race my butt off. Most of the time it ends up being good.

Moustafa Tiea ’25 readies himself before an indoor track race on March 14. (Photo courtesy of Moustafa Tiea)

WSS: What is the biggest thing you have learned this year? 

MT: That mindset is more important than you think. Like you can run and be really, really, really fast. Right? But if you don’t have the mindset, then the athletic ability isn’t going to be as good.

WSS: What are you looking forward to with more years left of high school?

MT: I am looking forward to being a great cross country and distance runner at West.

WSS: What are your goals for your track team this year and XC team in the fall? 

MT: To win state or just to place in the top five. We just have to give our best effort. 

WSS: How did it feel breaking the freshmen mile record?

MT: I feel proud of myself for doing so, but I am not just going to stop there. I’m going to stretch the record so it’s unbreakable. For a while at least

WSS: Do you have any superstitions before a game?

MT: I always do this thing where if anybody asks for my time, or tells me their time, I just like, I just avoid that because I remember in the eighth-grade state meet somebody told me their 400 times and then I did not do good in the 400. Ever since then I don’t listen to anybody’s times. 

WSS: What is your biggest accomplishment in High School?

MT: I would say making the state roster in cross country as a freshman. 

WSS: Do you have a mantra or quote that you live by?

MT: Don Toliver has a lot of good songs but the best one out of all of them is Euphoria. I also always say if you really want it badly act like you want it that bad.

WSS: What would you say to anyone that’s nervous about competing at West or playing a high school sport?

MT: If you’re nervous that’s a good thing because that’s something that shows you actually care.