By David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

American Mohamed Trafeh, who recently won the USA 15-K road title and ran a personal best 1:00:39 at the NYC Half-Marathon, has selected Elite Sports Management of West Chester, Pa., to represent him.  Trafeh, who was born in Morocco but was raised in Duarte, Calif., and now trains in Flagstaff, Ariz., had previously managed his own affairs.

"I have been watching Mohamed's career develop since high school and I always believed that he had great talent and a great career ahead of him," said Hussein Makke who owns Elite Sports Management, through an e-mail message.  "I contacted him after his last few big races to ask him what he is planning for the future. After talking with him on the phone several times, we arranged a meeting at my office and he chose to work with my company despite several other managers who were interested in signing a contract with him."

Trafeh, 24, who pronounces his last name "Trah-FAY," first come to national attention at the Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race, which hosted the USA 20-K championships, last September.  In a three-way battle against Brett Gotcher and Jason Lehmkuhle, Trafeh finished second in 59:01.  He went to Morocco for winter training, and finished third at the Marrakech Half-Marathon last January in a personal best 1:02:11.  Trafeh returned to America in his best shape ever, rolling over the competition at the USA 15-K championships at the Gate River Run in Jacksonville, Fla., last March, beating second place Tim Nelson by nearly a minute in 42:58.  Remarkably, he rebounded one week later to finish third at the highly competitive NYC Half-Marathon, clocking 1:00:39 and becoming the fifth-fastest American ever over the half-marathon distance.

"I had already heard a lot about Hussein Makke and the success of the athletes he manages," Trafeh wrote in an e-mail.  "I like that he is personal with his athletes and there is a lot of communication.  We also have a lot in common.  We have big goals planned and I am looking forward to working with him."

Trafeh came to the United States in the summer of 1999 and graduated from Duarte High School.  He had an abbreviated --and undistinguished-- college career at the University of Arizona beginning in 2004; he never broke 9 minutes for the steeplechase or 14 minutes for 5000m.  He moved to professional running in the fall of 2006, winning regional road races like the Redondo Beach Super Bowl Sunday 10-K and 5-K and the Southern California Half-Marathon (he won both events twice).

Trafeh gained USA citizenship in January, 2008.  According to the latest issue of the Analytical Distance Runner, the official publication of the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, Trafeh is #7-ranked American distance runner behind Bernard Lagat, Dathan Ritzenhein, Matt Tegenkamp, Ryan Hall, Galen Rupp, and Meb Keflezighi.




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