Players of the week

62

Onyekachi Nwabueze

In the second SCIAC Multi Dual meet Saturday, sprinter Onyekachi “Onye” Nwabueze (sophomore) placed first in the 200-meter dash and second in the 100-meter dash.

Nwabueze attributes her success in the meet to the hard work she has put into practice.

“My focus in practice these few weeks and my goal to push myself beyond what I’m comfortable with really contributed to my successful performance Saturday,” Nwabueze said via email.

Track and field Head Coach Robert Bartlett said he is extremely impressed by Nwabueze’s performance, especially considering the fact that she suffered an injury earlier in the season.

“Onye had a huge breakthrough meet on Saturday,” Bartlett said via email. “She was injured earlier in the season, but has overcome that adversity to deliver her best ever mid-season performances in both the 100 and 200.”

Last season, Nwabueze placed third in the conference championship final in the 200 meter dash. Bartlett hopes that this season, she will improve enough to make it to the Occidental top 10 board.

According to Nwabueze, running on home turf brought the team together, which contributed to both her personal triumph and the team’s success overall. She said her relationship with her team is largely responsible for her improvement this season.

“Nothing is really sugar-coated when it comes to helping each other out—we tell each other how we feel and in turn, the transparency allows for constructive criticism that we all eagerly accept in order to make us better,” she said. “I can’t wait to get back to practice and work even harder toward my ultimate goal of breaking my personal record.”

Hugh Pegan

Jeremy Bloom
Jeremy Bloom

First-year sprinter Hugh Pegan experienced success in the SCIAC Multi Dual meet Saturday. Despite feeling ill, he won both the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes and contributed to the 4×100 meter and 4×400 meter relays, which both placed second overall.

Pegan, who used to be a short distance sprinter, has recently begun training for longer distance sprinting. He thinks that this higher intensity training has contributed to his success so far this season.

“I think the endurance is really a huge factor to why I did so well,” Pegan said.

Pegan was impressed by his team’s ability to do well in the meet considering the number of athletes that were unable to run.

“It was rough for us, because we had a lot of our really good athletes out,” Pegan said. “But everyone really put out as much as they could. It was really cool to see the team do the best we could and see that we actually really did get the results out of it.”

Head coach Robert Bartlett has high hopes for Pegan for the remainder of the season.

“Hugh’s got a lot of potential and it’s great to see him realizing some of that,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett hopes that as the season progresses, Pegan will run a qualifying performance for this year’s NCAA Division III National Championships.