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Annie Nabwe reflects on Big 10 honor, excited for outdoor track

Mar. 16—ST. PAUL, Mn. — Three months ago, at the M City Classic Meet at the University of Minnesota, Annie Nabwe, a current thrower for the Gophers, set a new personal best in the shot put. Nabwe launched her shot 16.12 meters or 52.88 feet.

"My first official meet was good," Nabwe said. "It was the meet that showed that I have improved and it gave me a lot of courage to keep working hard. I threw two personal records exceeding my goal set for the season."

Since her first official outing as a Gopher, the former Blue Jay has been named a top-20 thrower at the NCAA Division 1 level.

"Some records I have broken are the NCAA and the University of Minnesota freshman weight-throw record," Nabwe said. "I'm 25th all-time in NCAA weight throw, third all-time at The U and sixth all-time in shot put."

On March 9, Nabwe closed out her freshman indoor season with a 16th place finish at the NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championships in the weight throw. Nabwe launched the weight 20.08 meters.

Three weeks prior to her final competition of the indoor season, Nabwe was crowned the Big 10 champion in the weight throw, setting a personal best of 23.36 meters at the Big 10 Indoor Championships.

"Being crowned Big 10 champion was insane and unbelievable because I did not think that I was going to win," Nabwe said. "I knew that I was top two and also there is Shelby who I was expecting to win. I am just so grateful that I was crowned the champ. I was really happy to see the progress and that give me more confidence."

What makes Nabwe's progression more insane is that she has been only competing in the weight throw since the Fall of 2022.

"I was starting my senior year (at Jamestown) I did not see myself here in two years," Nabwe said. "My senior year, I did not know what the weight throw was."

This winter Nabwe competed in both the weight throw at eight of the Gophers' meets. She placed second five times, first twice and 16th once.

While Nabwe seems to have an affinity for the weight throw, she's also been continuing to work on her shot put technique and is trusting that her training will elevate her to the next level.

Nabwe notched four first-place finishes in shot during the indoor season. Her personal best throw came at the Jack Johnson Classic on Jan. 27 where she launched her shot 16.47 meters or 54.035 feet.

At the Gophers' second and third meets of the indoor season, Nabwe placed 12th and fifth respectively in shot. At the Big 10 championships, Nabwe finished 13th with a throw of 15.41 meters.

"I am still working on shot put and trusting the process," Nabwe said. "I knew that choosing to go D1 would be a challenge and everyone was as talented as me and I knew that if I put in the work I would have success eventually but not this early."

Next up for Nabwe is the 2024 outdoor track and field season. The Gophers traveled to the University of Miami for the Hurricane Invitational earlier this week. The meet was held March 15-16 at Cobb Stadium in Coral Gables, Florida.

Nabwe will mainly be competing in shot put and the hammer throw during the outdoor season but will also try her hand at discus in a few meets.

"Up until now, I was mainly focused on indoor and I have not gotten the chance to set goals for outdoor yet but I am excited to see what is going to happen," Nabwe said.