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Durant’s Laila Ahmed – Track Spotlight – Presented by Excel Therapy

A valuable lesson learned through sports is that it is okay to fail. Laila Ahmed, a senior at Durant High School finds this to be the most valuable lesson playing softball and track has taught her.    

Learning from failure has led Laila to success. Her greatest athletic accomplishment is holding back-to-back Class 5Astate champion track titles for high jump. Another valuable lesson she says is the importance of being a good teammate. 

“My favorite part about being on a team is the teamwork aspect of it. I love seeing the final product of all the hard work we have put in,” she said.

Laila was five years old when her mother signed her up for T-ball. Her early love of athletics continued as she playedsoftball and eventually track. “I began high jump when I was in middle school because my friend Addie McLemore invited me to try it with her,” she said.

“I am passionate about my sport because track is the first sport where I have felt completely confident in my own abilities,” says Laila.

The best advice comes from her uncle, Che Lopez. Following his advice helps Laila focus on her goals while remembering to enjoy the journey. “He always reminds me to do what makes me happy and to never settle for any less,” she said.

Laila’s greatest inspiration is her mother. “She is the most selfless, loving, and hard-working person I know. I would like to say thank you to my mother for always supporting me and showing me endless love in anything I do. She always reminds me that I can be whatever I choose to be,” she says.

Laila is thankful to her coaches and team for always believing in her. She is proud to represent DHS as an athlete. Making coaches, administrators, and teammates proud is an important part of being a student athlete. 

The teammate to leave the biggest impact on Laila is her best friend and biggest supporter, Aubrey Tomlinson. She also looks up to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles for changing the world’s view on female athletes.

To relax Laila enjoys eating her all-time favorite meal of chicken tikka masala with naan. Laila would also love a summer vacation to Greece with her best friend Aubrey and her mother. 

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