Photo Credit: Florida Gators Tack and Field and Cross Country.

Barely two weeks after running a Nigerian Indoor Record of 33.09s in the 300m, Adekunle Fasasi raised the stakes higher by racing to an Indoor Personal Best (PB) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I leading mark of 46.53s in the 400m at the Hokie Invitational at Blacksburg on Saturday, January 21.

Fasasi’s former PB was 46.60s set in Fayetteville in February last year. His new time is just 0.22s off University of Florida’s (UF) all-time indoor Top 10 list and is the leading national mark in 2017 by 0.15s. Charlotte Freshman Jayon Woodard was 2nd in 48.12s, as Fasasi’s teammate, Nick Uruburu placed 3rd in 48.23s.

It was a 1-2 for University of Florida in the women’s 400m as Sharrika Barnett and Taylor Sharpe clocked 53.25s and 54.41s respectively, with Virginia Tech’s Courtney Blanden following in 3rd place in 54.54s.

Fasasi also anchored the Gators 4x00m men’s team to victory in 3:11.09, followed by Hampton (3:13.55) and East Carolina (3:15.98). The team recorded another win in the women’s 4×400 as they posted a time of   3:38.86 to finish ahead of NC A&T (3:46.01) and Marshall (3:48.84).

The Gators ended the meet by topping the rankings in the men’s category, while the women finished in 6th position. The reigning Nigerian 400m Champion received special commendation from UF Head coach Mike Holloway for his performance. According to, Holloway said:

“The big thing for me was I saw a lot of enthusiasm amongst the whole team. I challenged everybody to come out and trust their fitness, put their best foot forward. And I think everybody did that. Thought Kunle Fasasi did a wonderful job in the 400, and also very proud of Sharrika Barnett.

“Those are two kids—Kunle from Nigeria, Sharrika from Florida—that aren’t accustomed to indoor track. To watch them come out and have good runs today I thought was big. The efforts of the 4x400s, we didn’t run extremely fast, but I liked the effort and enthusiasm I saw.”

This is not Fasasi’s first time of running an NCAA lead. The African Junior Championships Bronze medallist set a national Division I lead last year April enroute setting his current PB (outdoors) of 45.43s.

Yemi Galadima is a Senior Sportswriter and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games, Olympics and World Athletics Championships. She also freelances for World Athletics.


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