Wednesday , June 7 2023
OPINION: Top 5 Nigerian athletes watchlist for 2023 NCAA indoor season

OPINION: Top 5 Nigerian athletes watchlist for 2023 NCAA indoor season

Some Nigerian athletes will specifically have the spotlight on them based on their outstanding accomplishments in 2022.

Here is a look at the top 5 on this list of athletes expected to produce something exceptional in their indoor outings in 2023.

One of the poster girls in the NCAA, Ofili still has a lot to offer, even with her jaw-dropping achievements last season.

The Louisiana State University (LSU) junior student won 200m Silver medals at the South Eastern Conference (SEC) and NCAA indoor championships, also breaking her indoor African Record (AR) with a new 22.46s.

Her targets will be on claiming both titles and lowering her AR this season. She will also be expected to surpass her Personal Best (PB) in the 60m and perhaps the 400m.

Last year as a freshman student at the University of Tennessee (UT), Ashe started his season with a bang by running 6.58s in his first-ever indoor 60m race at the Bob Pollock Invitational in Clemson.

He would later lower this time to a UT Freshman record and PB of 6.51s, winning his qualifying heat at the NCAA Indoor Championships, and then finished third in the final with a time of 6.55s.

Now representing Auburn University and well acclimatized to competing on an indoor track, Ashe is predicted to lower his PB and erase Deji Aliu’s Nigerian Record (NR) of 6.48s.

A sophomore student at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), Akintola had a clean sweep at the 2022 Conference USA (C-USA) indoor championships by winning the 60m title in 6.72s and the 200m title in an indoor PB of 20.72s, thereby breaking the MTSU School Record (SR) that stood for seventeen years.

The double feat earned the speedster the ‘Freshman of the Meet Award’, while he also ran a 60m PB of 6.67s during the season.

Akintola has his conference titles to defend and a significant attempt at medalling at the NCAA indoor championships, which will require him to lower his PBs to brilliant times.

She made her Texas Tech debut in January 2022 and won her 60m race at the Texas Tech Open and Multis. She then ran 7.25s at the New Mexico Classic and clocked a PB of 7.20s at the Texas Tech Shootout in February.

Chukwuma captured the BIG 12 Championships 60m title running a new PB of 7.17s.

The highly-rated sprinter has all it takes to be a mighty force indoors this year.

He doubles as a high and triple jumper. Last season as an MTSU athlete, Erhire won Silver medals in both events at the C-USA indoor championships, scaling a PB of 2.23m and leaping a distance of 15.65m.

Now transferred to TTU for this season, he will be a huge prospect to improve on his PBs and prove he is no push-over as one of the best athletes in the country.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Pulse Sports

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