Speedy siblings set sights for state championships

Bishop England High School distance runner Marc Brahim will run about 55 to 60 miles this week in preparation for the Class AA Lower State championships.
 
That’s down from the 75 miles he runs a week during the offseason, including the dog days of August, when an athlete learns if he has the right stuff – the talent, heart and mettle – to succeed in track and field.
 
Does Brahim ever tire of putting so much wear and tear on his running shoes?
 
“No, not at all. I love it,” said Brahim, a junior who is bidding for his third trip to the state championships later this month. “I just love running.”
 
So does his younger sister Nora, who is seeking her fourth trip to the state despite being only a sophomore. South Carolina High School League rules allow seventh and eighth graders to compete in non-contact high school sports.
 
But first, they have to qualify at the Class AA Lower State Championships, which will be contested on May 11 at Woodland High School.
 
The state meet is slated for a week later at Lower Richland High School.
 
“I was a little nervous the first time I ran at state,” Nora said. “The nerves can get to you if you let them.”
 
Nora had an excellent performance at last spring’s state meet, where she earned silver medals in both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs.
 
“My goal is to win a gold medal in at least one race,” Nora said. “I want to finish either first or second in the 1,600 and 3,200.”
 
Bishop England coach Tony Colizzi said the Brahim siblings work extremely hard at practice.
 
“This is evident in their race results,” the veteran coach said.
 
The Brahims have collected medals, recorded personal bests, and even set a school record this spring.
 
Marc shone at the Coaches Classic Elite with a school record-setting time of 9 minutes, 38.13 seconds in the 3,200 run. He broke Christian Widenhouse’s mark of 9:41.65, which stood for 11 years.
 
Nora already owns school records in both the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
 
She also excels in cross country, and in November helped the Bishops claim their fifth state title overall with a first-place individual finish of 18:22.25 in the 5K.
 
Last spring, the Bishop girls won their 14th state championship in track and field, and Nora had a big role, gaining silver in both the metric mile and two-mile races to account for 16 of the Bishops’ 85.83 points as they topped Gray Collegiate by 10 points.
 
The Brahim siblings are coached by Colizzi and their mother, Carmen Brahim, who is on the faculty at Bishop England.
 
Nora said practices with her brother can be fun, “but at times, it can be a bit difficult because, not only is my brother on the team, but we train together in the same events,” she said. “You have to be careful of what you say and who you say it to.”
 

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