Mohammed raises hope at NCAA

Yomi Omogbeja (12/06/2005)


Nigeria's Fatimoh Omolola Mohammed has continued to impress in the US National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) championships.

University of Texas, El Paso's Junior Fatimoh Muhammed is ranked eighth in 800 metres in the country, with her personal best of 2:05.28, despite failing to get to the finals at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, California at the weekend.

The 21-year-old, Management major, came fourth in her opening round of the 800 metres with a time of 2:06.04 and moved on to the semifinals with the 15th-best time.

Her path to the finals was however halted after she finished seventh in her semifinal heat with a time of 2:06.98.

This year had been quite remarkable for the Abeokuta-born athlete, who is a cousin to Nigeria's foremost female quarter miler and Atlanta Olympics bronze medallist Falilat Ogunkoya.

At the NCAA Midwest Track and Field Regional in Norman, Oklahoma on May 27th, she edged out Iowa State's Ada Anderson for fifth place in the 800 metres to gain an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships. She ran a personal best 2:05.28 to Anderson's 2:05.38.

Regional title

Muhammed also posted a regional time of 2:06.88 to win the 800 metres, as UTEP won the Western Athletic Conference outdoor track and field conference title for a record 14th time in Tulsa, Oklahoma last month.

As a Sophomore (2003-04), Mohammed was an NCAA qualifier in the outdoor 800, running 2:07.24 in the prelims and was runner-up at the NCAA Midwest regional in the 800, in 2:07.89.

Other Nigerian athletes on UTEP roster this session include sprinter Yinka Bello and 400 metres runner Olatunde Okusanya.

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