Heptathlete Osazuwa making strides in outdoor slate after All-American indoor season

first_img Published on April 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Rachel: [email protected] [email protected] Comments Until Saturday, Uhunoma Osazuwa hadn’t lived up to the hype.Tabbed an All-American following the conclusion of the indoor track and field season in February, Osazuwa was expected to do big things this spring.But in her first outdoor meet earlier this month at the four-day Texas Relays, Osazuwa was basically a no-show. Placing 43rd in the 100-meter hurdles, the Syracuse standout essentially used the event as a tuneup to prepare for the rest of the season. And at the 44th annual Sea Ray Relays in Knoxville, Tenn., this weekend, the results showed.As the lone SU representative at the event, Osazuwa finisher higher than any other collegiate athlete, placing second behind only former heptathlon All-American Tammilee Kerr from Iowa. Osazuwa finished with a lifetime best and NCAA provisional-qualifying score of 5,378 points, placing her fourth in the NCAA for the heptathlon.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Coming to Tennessee, I expected either to match my (personal record) or do better,’ Osazuwa said following the event. ‘I wanted to get a good enough score to get me into NCAAs early rather than having to worry about relying on a later meet. It feels great to (achieve my personal record), but to do it this early in the season makes me excited for what I’ll be able to do later on.’The meet, which joins the top NCAA qualifiers in the nation, is one of the top competitions of the season for multi-events. Osazuwa also earned fourth place in the javelin (34.56m) and finished first in the long jump (5.88 meters). The senior standout went into Thursday’s heptathlon events holding a slim first-place lead over Kentucky‘s Precious Nwokey, 3,358 to 3,349.Osazuwa’s teammate of four years, Bernard Bush, competed with her at the Texas Relays and has seen her grow and mature through the years. Her victory, though by herself, was shared with Bush and the rest of the teammates.‘We’re kind of a family,’ Bush said. ‘We’re all excited for her.’While Osazuwa was by herself in Tennessee, 17 of her track and field teammates were out west competing in the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz. While there, the team put on one of its best performances of the season. The Orange took two first-place finishes and five top-five finishes at the event.‘For those competing on the national level, we want to see personal bests,’ head coach Chris Fox said.Osazuwa has lived up to her status as an All-American, an honor she earned at the end of the indoor season and one she hopes to receive at the end of the outdoor season as well.‘I want to start off well for the outdoor season,’ Osazuwa said before the event. Osazuwa doesn’t compete again until the Penn Relays in Philadelphia on April 22, but the rest of the team, fresh off its high-level performance at Arizona State, heads to Princeton this weekend looking to build on the strong results seen in Tempe.After facing stiff competition out west for three straight weeks, SU returns to the East Coast to participate in a familiar event, the Princeton Larry Ellis Invitational.The hope is that the familiarity and the importance of the event will lead to more top finishes.‘For some of the other athletes, at the very least we’d like to shoot for Big East qualifying marks,’ Fox said. ‘We want a lot of our (athletes) to treat these events like bowl games.’Although Osazuwa is not competing this weekend, her feats from last weekend, along with the rest of the team’s top performances last weekend, set the stage for the meet this Saturday.‘From this point forward, we’re just looking for big marks,’ Fox said. Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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