Abire, Aniekeme, Oduduru & Odugbesan dominate in US
It can only get better for Nigerian collegiate athletes in the US on the NCAA level who consistently step up their performance at each meet during the weekends.
There’s no doubt that the Oral Roberts University Sophomore, Mercy Abire has found a new love for the Triple Jump event and has been performing great so far. Abire smashed her previous Personal Best of 13.03m which she set two weeks ago at the Bill Williams Laptad Invitational as she leaped a distance of 13.10m to win the women’s Triple Jump last weekend . She later ran a personal best of 11.72s in the prelims of the women’ 100m and led ORU’s 4x100m squad of Burnett Tristen, Hilard Cameron and Aniekeme Alphonsus to victory at the Summit League Outdoor Championships, Tulsa Oklahoma.
After a great performance from Abire, Oral Robert’s Freshman Aniekeme Alphonsus ran a wind-aided PB of 11.25s to win the 100m women final after running 11.46s in the prelims. She also won the 200m with 23.54s as teammate, Hillard Cameron finished 2nd with 24.01s while North Dakota’s senior Alexis Woods was 3rd with 24.02s at the Summit League Outdoor Championships, Tulsa Oklahoma.
Away from Oklahoma, 2016 Rio Olympian and Texas Tech sprint sensation Divine Oduduru gave another outstanding performance at the BIg 12 Championship in Waco, Texas . After running a 10.19s in the heats of the men’s 100m prelims, Oduduru lowered his time to 10.11s in the final the following day. Known for executing his 200m races well, he ran 20.54s in the prelims but cleared the final with a Personal Record of 20.13s to defend his fifth spot on the NCAA college rankings. He sure looks ripe to go under 20s anytime soon.
Still in Texas, at the C-USA Outdoor Championships, Nigerian athletes dominated both on the track as well as the field.
Representing Middle Tennessee State University freshman, Isaac Odugbesan was the man to beat in the Shot Put final. Isaac was unstoppable as he threw a Conference Record of 18.57m to clinch the Gold while teammate, Egbeniyi Abike stole the show in the women’s 800m with a winning time of 2:04.91s while Lilian Koech of UTEP and Louisiana Tech’s Elia Nero finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.
While Cecilia Francis also of Middle Tennessee finished 2nd behind home favourite, Hannah Jackson of Rice University in the women’s 100m final with 11.58s. Hannah ran a time of 11.51s to take the win.
2016 World Junior 200m Champ, Edidiong Odiong was 5th in 11.66s but went on to win the 200m in a time of 23.14s. Senior, Loveth Odia clocked 54.09s to finish 4th in the women’s 400m.
Later this week four of our Nigerian athletes in Junior Colleges will be competing at the 2018 NJCAA Division 1 Men and Women outdoor Track and Field Championship from May 17th -19th at the BG products Veterans Sports Complex, El Dorado Kansas. The athletes set to compete are, Abolaji Omotayo, Fabian Edoki, Ejumeta David and Usoro Ruth. We wish them the all best!