WORTHINGTON -- Lots of high school kids have jobs, but they don’t normally put in long hours until the summertime.
But Worthington High School senior Ammanuel Ojha logs a lot of time at the local Walmart this spring, even as he goes to classes every weekday and practices diligently as a valued member of the WHS track and field team. Ojha uses his lanky frame to compete in the 400 and 800-meter races, and sometimes in the 4x400 and 4x800-meter relay teams.
His easy strides are helping the Trojan boys put together a strong season to date, but in order to get the most out of his talent, he has to pace himself off the track, too.
“Sometimes it’s kind of tiring,” Ojha explains about his job, which mostly has him pushing shopping carts and helping customers unload items into their cars. He landed the job in the summer of 2017, and with it he can earn a little spending money while helping shoppers’ days be just a little bit brighter.
Ojha, who also competes in high school soccer, has trained with many of his middle-distance track and field teammates since summer. He says it’s practice and focus that is helping the Trojan boys be a “great team.” Personally, he’s hoping to get his 400-meter time under 50 seconds this year and his 800 time under two minutes.
The Globe caught up to Ojha recently for a Drill episode (it wasn’t difficult; we found him a few minutes prior to a practice session on a rainy Wednesday, and he hadn’t had time to sprint away from our camera). We asked him about Walmart, about track and field, and about other informational nuggets in his teen-age life.
To see the video, go online at www.dglobe.com. Here’s a sample of the interview:
QUESTION: What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received in your athletic career?
ANSWER: “The most valuable advice I got was from Smitty (Cory Smidt), the track coach, and he said, ‘You’re the most hard-working athlete I’ve ever met.’”
QUESTION: Tell us the most unusual thing about you that most people don’t know.
ANSWER: “The most unusual thing about me is I’m scared of snakes. When I watch TV and I see them, I always get scared.”
QUESTION: After you graduate, what next?
ANSWER: “For college, right now I’m thinking about going to Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter. I’m thinking about doing psychology.”