Okwelogu Wins Discus at African Championships

Okwelogu Wins Discus at African Championships

The rising senior also placed second in the shot put (Gil Talbot).

DURBAN, South Africa – Capturing a gold medal for the first time on the senior international circuit, rising senior Nikki Okwelogu posted the top throw in the discus to claim victory over the weekend at the African Championships. Okwelogu followed up her performance with a second-place showing in the shot put.

Okwelogu posted a career-best and school record mark of 186-2.25 (56.75m) in the discus, topping her previous best by nearly six feet and the second-place performer by more than three feet. Competing for Nigeria, the Fresno, California native continued her strong meet in the shot put two days later with a toss of 56-0 (17.07m). Okwelogu, who passed the Olympic standard at the NCAA East Region championships, was the top Nigerian finisher and one of only two throwers to eclipse 16 meters.

A few thousand miles to the north, classmate Efe Uwaifo competed at the British Championships in Birmingham, England in the triple jump, taking seventh overall with a mark of 52-3.375 (15.91m). Uwaifo's top jump came on his third attempt, which helped him advance to the finals in a tie for sixth. The mark was two inches shy of his career best.

"It is great to see so many of our student-athletes continuing to compete at a high level through the summer," said Jason Saretsky, the William W. 'Bill' McCurdy Director of Harvard Track & Field/Cross Country. "I am proud of the way they represent Harvard track and field at both the national and international stage."

Okwelogu and Uwaifo were both All-Ivy selections in 2016, with Okwelogu advancing to the NCAA Championships in both of her events. Five more student-athletes will race at the USATF Olympic Trials July 1-10 in Eugene, Oregon: Autumne Franklin, Paige Kouba, Jade Miller, Courtney Smith and Gabby Thomas.