Athletics Meets across the world went into full swing in the just concluded week, with notable meets like the Texas Relays and Florida Relays being the major highlights and of course, Nigerian athletes were at these events to make a mark for their respective colleges, and country.
The four-day competition hosted at Mike A. Myers Stadium saw the return of several world-class collegiate, professional and alumni athletes. However, the windy environment was the major drawback of the meet, resulting in some times not being recognized as Personal Bests (PB) and World Leading (WL) times.
Nigerian Record Holder, Ezekiel Nathaniel, had a brilliant start to his primary event — the 400m hurdles— after running the 400m flat throughout the indoor season where he became an All-American in the event, finishing 6th in the finals.
Nathaniel ran an impressive 49.24s in the heats to qualify as the overall fastest, but settled for 2nd in the finals with yet another sub-50 time of 49.59s.
Rosemary Chukwuma dashed to a windy 11.08s (2.8m/s) to win her heat in the women’s 100m. The Texas Tech record holder later finished 3rd with a wind-legal Season’s Best of 11.21s.
Ezine Abba was a part of the wonderful Texas quartet that broke the NCAA record with a time of 42.00s. She ran an amazing second leg in order to make the record a possibility.
Just like the previous week, Godson Brume once again anchored his school to an NCAA- leading time of 38.53s. Godson is still yet to run an individual race this outdoor season.
Favour Ofilli and Ella Onjuvevwvo were slated to compete in the women’s 4×400m but the former was later withdrawn from the event while the latter went on to anchor her school to a sixth-place finish with a split time of 52.86s.
Imaobong Nse Uko and Success Umokoro also participated for their respective schools in the same event.
Absiano Akpan won the women’s 400m Hurdles with a time of 58.85s.
Chinecherem Nnamdi narrowly missed the 80m mark after throwing an SB of 79.98m in the men’s Javelin Throw, placing 2nd in the process.
Ashley Anumba placed third in the women’s Discus Throw with a swing of 57.52m while Onaraa Obaamugwan leaped to a 13.04m in the women’s Triple Jump.
Udodi Onwuzurike continued from where he stopped in the indoor season by blazing to a smooth 10.07s (10.15 in the preliminaries) in the men’s 100m, which doubled as a SB and Nigerian-leading time. He completed the double with a wind-aided time of 20.42s in the men’s 200m.
Anita Taviore positioned 9th in the women’s 100m with 11.89s.
Prosper Ekporere recorded a wind-aided 14.13s to unfold his outdoor season after last competing in February in the men’s 110m Hurdles at the Virginia Quadrangular meet.
Commonwealth Games Champion, Chioma Onyekwere launched her implement to a 55.85m throw to win the women’s Discus at the MSU Spartan Invitational.