Record Newspapers Athlete of the Week: Kiara Wesseh, Newark, track and field, senior

Wesseh repeated as Class 1A state high jump champion, won four medals at state

Newark’s Kiara Wesseh clears the last hurdle as Fulton’s Emery Wherry (left) and St. Bede’s Lily Bosnich chase her down in the 1A 100 Hurdles Saturday, May 18, 2024 at the IHSA girls state track meet in Charleston.

Name: Kiara Wesseh

School: Newark, senior

Sport: Track and field

Why she was selected: Wesseh won her second consecutive Class 1A state high jump championship and also took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles and 4x200 relay at the IHSA state track and field meet.

She was selected the Athlete of the Week in an online vote. Here is her interview with Sports Editor Joshua Welge.

I read that you missed a few jumps early but then hit the last heights on the first try. Did you do anything to refocus?

Wesseh: I sat down and visualized myself clearing the heights. This really refocused my mind. I felt like my mind had a lot of other thoughts going on, so I had to really dig deep to find the ability to clear the next heights. I knew that it would be big if I was able to clear the next ones on my first attempt.

You won two state championships and 15 state medals in your high school career. What do you think when you hear that?

Wesseh: I feel so blessed to be able to say that! I think that ending my Newark career with another state championship medal and ending with 15 medals made my career complete! I will forever be grateful for the success that I was able to have.

What made you decide to do the heptathlon in college at Baylor?

Wesseh: I have always been a three-sport athlete, and in track I have always done several different events. I could never choose just one. I was told that I would be a good fit to try the hep, so I did and I loved it! I love being with the same group of girls for two days and I love that we all have the same passion for the same seven events.

What do you plan to study at Baylor?

Wesseh: I plan to study nutrition and become a sports dietitian.

What did you do to celebrate your state title?

Wesseh: I went to Chick-fil-A and finally got a meal that I was excited about!

If you could give a piece of advice to the freshman you, what would it be?

Wesseh: I would tell myself that I am capable of more than I know and that it is very important for me to be the one to believe in myself. I would advise myself to not only work on the days that I feel like it!