Huntley junior Dubem Anikamadu put himself in rarefied air this track and field season.
The Red Raiders’ sprinter finished third in the Class 3A 200 meters, eighth in the 100 and anchored Huntley’s eighth-place 4x100 team to join former Raider Connor Boos as the only area sprinters to ever medal three times at the IHSA state meet.
Those accomplishments, along with all his other titles, earned Anikamadu the honor of Northwest Herald Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year, voted on by the sports staff.
For a while this season, Melvin Aninagyei, Eric Mooney, Ron Noll and Anikamadu had the fastest 4x100 time in the state. Anikamadu is competing with Arlington Heights-based TNT Track and Field Academy this summer and undoubtedly will be hearing a lot from NCAA Division I coaches. He sat down with the Northwest Herald to talk track, school and pop culture.
What is your choice of racing footwear?
Anikamadu: I like racing and practicing in Nike because they are durable and reliable.
What do you like to eat before racing, and how long before racing do you eat?
Anikamadu: I like to eat a 6-inch chicken bacon ranch melt on toasted Italian herb bread with American cheese, light on the lettuce, light on some jalapenos, light on some green peppers, with salt and pepper. I eat this around two hours before I run.
What was your reaction when you took third place in the Class 3A 200 meters for your third state sprinting medal?
Anikamadu: I was satisfied with taking third. Knowing that I'm only a young junior with plenty of things to improve on, I know I can come back stronger next year.
If you could train with anyone in the world for a week, who would it be?
Anikamadu: Usain Bolt, of course.
What sport, other than track and field or football, would you be good at?
Anikamadu: I would be good at basketball. I used to play, but it cut into the indoor season of track. So now, I just play on the side, rec league with my friends.
What is your favorite class in school?
Anikamadu: I like chemistry and algebra because they both help each other, and it all makes sense to me.
What is your favorite professional sports team?
Anikamadu: Boston Celtics #GreenRunsDeep
What goes through your mind in the starting blocks before a big race?
Anikamadu: I really just focus on big arms and my first step because those two things are really important parts of races.
What are three sports movies you can watch over and over?
Anikamadu: "Creed," "Race" and "White Men Can't Jump."
If you were running at the IAAF World Championships this summer in London, who would be on your Dream Team with you for the 4x100 relay?
Anikamadu: Usain Bolt, Christian Coleman and Andre De Grasse.
Who is a teammate who really makes you laugh?
Anikamadu: Melvin Bonsu (Aninagyei), because he is just a goofy guy in general and always can crack a joke, even in the serious moments.
What would be your dream vehicle?
Anikamadu: A Rolls Royce.
What was the last really good book you read?
Anikamadu: The biography of "Malala." (Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani girl who defied the Taliban about girls' rights to receive an education, survived being shot in the head and received a Nobel Peace Prize).
What music do you listen to before races?
Anikamadu: I listen to hype rap songs.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Anikamadu: Use negatives as learning experiences and motivation and drive.
If you played baseball, what would your walk-up music be?
Anikamadu: "New Level" by ASAP Ferg.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
What would be your dream job?
Anikamadu: Singer/rapper artist, like J. Cole. I want to be able to speak my mind and get paid for it.
What actor would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Anikamadu: Keith Stanfield.
What is your best sports memory of the past school year?
Anikamadu: When we had the No. 1 4x100 time in the state for a while.