Osazenoriuwa Ebose ’15 was named Centennial Conference Performer of the Week for her record-breaking shot put at the Gotham Cup last Friday. With a throw of 37-1.25 feet (11.31 meters), Ebose broke Swarthmore College’s 30-year-old record in the women’s event.
The freshman thrower from Scotch Plains, New Jersey topped a field of 22 competitors in just the second meet of her career. Her winning throw came on the final of three attempts.
Her first effort was a sector foul, meaning that the shot did not land within the legal sector. “I actually hit the cage… and that got me really mad,” Ebose said. After remaining conservative on her second attempt in order to ensure she posted a mark, she put her frustration to good use and launched her record-breaking shot.
The throw eclipsed the mark of Cristi Charpentier ’82 of 36-11.25 which had stood in the Swarthmore record books since 1982.
After the first meet of the season, the Garnet track and field coaching staff informed Ebose that the historic mark was within her grasp. “My coaches made it known to me that I was really close to getting the record,” she explained. “I said that next meet it’s going to be mine. That was the goal for this meet.”
Swarthmore head track and field coach Pete Carroll is enthused by the commitment and potential his young thrower has shown so far. “I’m excited about her focus and the fact that she’s really serious about the events,” he said. “When we recruited [her], we knew we were making the program better”.
Despite her relatively instant success, both Ebose and Coach Carroll see this record-setting performance as a stepping stone to even greater achievements. Indeed, last Friday’s mark was actually nearly two full feet short of the newcomer’s personal best. “My [personal record] is 39 feet,” Ebose noted and quickly explained that she sees the winter indoor season as an opportunity to prepare for the outdoor spring season. “Winter always seemed to be a training season for me and for the team in general. It’s serious, but the spring is where it really, really counts when everyone is in peak condition,” she said.
Ebose and the rest of the Swarthmore Track and Field Team still have more than a month to train before the indoor Centennial Conference meet. New coach Sara DeGeorge has come in this year to provide some additional throwing-specific expertise in the weight room and on the field for Coach Carroll’s staff after finding success in four throwing events at Elizabethtown College. Her main job as the young season continues to unfold may be to help Ebose and her fellow throwers peak at the right time.
“My goal by the end of winter is to throw 40 feet, which is only a foot longer than my [personal record] but it’s still a long way to go,” Ebose said. “By the end of spring, maybe 42; that would be a nice way to start off my freshman year.”
If Coach Carroll has his way, Ebose will continue her adjustment to college competition and produce her best performances at the Conference meet. “I think [she] has a very good shot at medaling in the shot,” he said.
The Garnet will need excellent individual showings if they are to make a splash, as they are consistently competing against teams with larger numbers of athletes. From the looks of it, Ebose adds to a growing cadre of extremely talented Garnet track and field competitors who have produced a host of outstanding performances over the last few years.
The Swarthmore women’s shot put record belongs to Osazenoriuwa Ebose and it should for some time to come. Just don’t expect it to remain at 37-1.25 feet for long.