University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Engineering Student Athlete Sets the Pace


Toby Weber
Mechanical engineering sophmore Oumama Hallal. Photo by Jeff Shaw.

Oumama Hallal is a true example of a student athlete.

Hallal, who maintains a GPA of about 3.6., is a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering and a member of The Honors College. She is also a scholarship athlete on the university’s track team, for which she runs long-distance races practically every weekend throughout the academic year.

Two weekends ago she competed in the Texas Southern University Relays tournament, where she won the five-kilometer race, beating out the second place contender by 90 seconds. It was the first time she ran that distance competitively, and she crossed the finish line with a time of 18:09.

As with all student athletes, Hallal maintains a hectic schedule: wakeup, run, go to class, run, study, sleep. She also finds the time to volunteer as a math and science tutor every Tuesday and Thursday morning for other student athletes.

While she admits that running and schoolwork can conflict at times, Hallal says that the passion she has for each make them both worth the effort.

“[Running] is so time consuming that it inevitably takes away from schoolwork time, and vice versa. The mechanical engineering program demands so much that it can be hard to meet my full potential [as a runner]. At the same time, it’s very rewarding. I enjoy it a lot. Anytime you’re upset, running always makes you feel better.”


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