Okafor In Midst of Stellar 2012 Season

Ifeatu Okafor is in the midst of a stellar junior season for the No. 9 Lady Raiders.

by Alexandra Ellis
Texas Tech Athletics Communications

Looks can be deceiving. Just ask junior thrower Ifeatu Okafor.

- Ifeatu Okafor

Standing at 5-foot 5-inches, most throwers tower over her. But Okafor does not let her size get her down.

"She's just works tremendously hard," head coach Wes Kittley said. "Coach (Cliff) Felkins has perfected her technique. She's a real speed thrower, which means she's quick and dynamic."

Last weekend, Okafor won the discus at the West Texas A&M Open with a personal best throw of 16.80 meters (181'-10"). The throw put her at No. 9 in the national rankings in the event and No. 3 in the Big 12.

"I'm proud," Okafor said of her performance. "It was a pretty good experience. The throws felt very good."

Okafor has solidified herself as one of the top throwers in school history, and the Houston native is only a junior. Already, she has two of the top five marks in school history - including the school record at 17.77 meters (58'-3.75") which she set just less than a year ago on May 15 at the 2011 Big 12 Championships.

After a stellar sophomore campaign in 2011 Kittley said she has continued to improve steadily throughout the 2012 season.

"It's going to be good to have her back, no doubt," Kittley said. "We're hoping she has an opportunity to be an All-American in the discus and the shot-put in the next month."

Okafor is well on her way to her third straight All-American honor in shot-put, and it's something she has her sights on as the Big 12 Championships are set for next weekend. The NCAA Outdoor Championships are scheduled for June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa.

"It's really special to me," Okafor said. "It means that all my hard work has started to pay off."

Off the field, spends her time giving back to the Lubbock community.

"She does a ton of volunteer work," Kittley said. "She has been honored for it for the last couple of years in the athletics department for doing more hours than any student-athlete we have."

The No. 9 Lady Raiders will be joining the No. 10 Red Raiders this weekend as Texas Tech hosts its final home meet of the outdoor season. The Red Raider Open is scheduled to be held Saturday at the Linda and Terry Fuller Track and Field Complex.

"It's important that we keep doing what we've been doing," Okafor said. "We don't want to change anything in the last minute. We just need to stay consistent."




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