Like most student athletes from around the world Eritrean-Swede Awet Yohannes was not too familiar with Iowa Central community college located in Fort Dodge, IA. A city of 25,000 people and about 124 miles from a nearest big city which was in the neighboring state of Nebraska. That did not matter to Awet as he continued to be a part of one of the best Junior college athletics program in the USA. “Awet” which means “Victory” in the Eritrean tigrinia language lead the Iowa Central men's cross country team once again in the hunt for a national title as he continues to shine during his sophomore season for the program.
Awet was contacted by an organization that helped students to be recruited. when he got the call. He was interested in coming to the United States for academics and athletics even though he had never visited the campus before he came. Like most young people he came to this rural town in Iowa with hope that he would succeed. Soon after he joined Iowa Central he placed inside the Top-35 in the nation as a freshman at the cross country nationals last fall. He also earned an indoor NJCAA national title in the 3K. He added a bonus when he won a gold at the Drake Relays for the Iowa Central Tritons in the steeplechase. His development at Iowa Central continued to help him despite the few challenges he had with cold weather, in some cases much colder than Sweden where he grew up.
In terms of his academics he was able to work just as hard as he did on the track field and beat his obstacles. He was selected as an academic standout athlete with a GPA of 4.0. Awet added more awards as he earned the NJCAA Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors after his victory at the Mustang Gallop. The Tritons of Iowa Central won the team title at the same meet. He continued his success when he took a third place finish at the Hawkeye Invitational competing against a number of NCAA Div. I athletes. He capped off his 2020 season with a national championship along with his team mates at Iowa Central by winning the distance medley relay. He also competed in more events where he excelled against many big school athletes and did well. Off the track he was able to achieve his goal of earning enough credits with excellent grades to finish up his amazing career where he will transfer to a division 1 school with a great program.
While the doors were open for Awet, Eri-internationalsports.org has gotten word that he has accepted a scholarship to the University of New Mexico where he will join fellow Eritrean-American athlete Weini Kelati. Look at UNM Lobos, the Eritreans are coming.