This season, Youssef Koudssi opened with two victories in the Shot Put and Discus at the Aztec Invite. At the Chandler Rotary Invitational, Koudssi placed 3rd in the Elite Boys' Shot-Put contest. Later that season, he won the Tempe City Meet with a mark of 56-9 for a lifetime best that ranked him 2nd in the State. Koudssi finished his season at the AIA Track and Field State Championships, where he placed 3rd in the D1 Boys Shot Put.
Where are you from and when did you begin throwing?
I was born in Montreal Canada and I started to throw in the 8th grade when I moved here.
What was your most memorable throw?
The Becky Matthews meet. I had the best series of my life with 4 PRs and where I got my mark of 56 feet.
Did you listen to music before competing? If so what's on your playlist?
I like to listen to a lot of Drake but my top picks for this year would have to be Dreams and Nightmare- Meek Mills, Going Bad- Meek Mills and Drake, Confession of a Dangerous Mind- Logic, and Shooters- Tory Lanez
Do you have any superstitions or rituals that you go through when preparing for meets?
I always watch my throws from the week before and go over it. I make a very detailed list of what wasn't good with that throw and what to fix and what I did good too. I then work on it all week and at home or when I have some free time in class, I watch it again and visualize how to improve.
Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?
It would have to be my teammate Jason Fritz. We always push each other in practice and always have little competitions between each other.
What was your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment would have to be to overcome some health issues that I faced earlier that year and coming back and improving my shot mark by almost 10 feet.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your throwing career in high school?
I would take my training more seriously. I didn't start to train hard until the end of my junior year when I realized that my marks were too low.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
Injuries and health issues that took a mental toll on me were the hardest. Something would go wrong and I would doubt myself worrying that I maybe wasn't cut out for this but fortunately for me I was surrounded by a good group of people that never let me give up on myself.
What will you miss the most about competing for your team?
I will miss the people on the team. I considered them family and competing with them creates an unbreakable bond that I won't forget.
You were a part of a rich tradition of Thunder throwers. What did it mean for you to end your season on the Shot-Put podium?
It meant everything. I put so much work in the off season and it showed. Fortunately, because I go to Desert Vista, it really set me up for that just because of how great the coaches are and the rich history of success we have. I don't know many people that can help a kid go from 45-ft consistently to 53-ft consistently in high school.
(Right: Koudssi threw 54-2.5 to place 3rd in the Elite Boys Shot Put competition at Chandler Rotary this season.)
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
To work through the hard days because that is when you truly become better.
What is the most valuable lesson that you've learned from your coach?
Short term memory. Even if I have a bad meet to forget about it and move on to the next.
What are your college plans? Have you decided on a major?
I will be attending University of Arizona where I will be part of the honors college and the track team. I'm debating between mechanical or electrical engineering.
What was the deciding factor that made you choose U of A?
The campus is beautiful and Coach Crater is a great coach and I really like the way that he coaches his athletes.
What do you like about Coach Crater's philosophy or coaching style?
Coach Crater likes to have 2-3 athletes practicing at a time. It gives him a better chance to coach us up more efficiently without being overwhelmed by everyone else. Because there were so many kids that were throwers at DV and we only had two coaches, that is something that was missing in our program.
Who would you like to thank for your success in high school?
Coach C, Coach Hickel, Coach Rudy, Coach Larry Davis, Coach Don, Coach Erik Johnson, my parents, my friends and family. They all had an impact on who I am as an athlete and as a man and I am very thankful for them.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
What's the best thing to eat after a meet?
I think In-N-Out has to be the move
Who's your favorite professional athlete?
Darrell Hill or Ryan Crouser hands down. I look up to them and I aspire to be as good or even greater than them.
What was your favorite subject in school?
I think chemistry or criminal justice had to be one of my favorite subjects that I took.
What are you most excited to do when you get to Tucson, AZ?
I think being on my own for the first time. I love my family but I think it's time for me to live on my own.