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Otabor gets Javelin Gold

TF2K24: Autumn Glover in hunt for Heptathlon

By Winners OnlyPublished 11 days ago Updated 11 days ago 3 min read
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Rhema Otabor

If you saw the top eight finishers of the javelin throw at the Big Ten Championships and someone told you to guess the person who was the winner without watching the competition, you probably wouldn't pick Rhema Otabor.

"Most people don't think I'm a javelin thrower," said the Nassau, Bahamas native, May 10, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "They think I'm a sprinter or jumper but you don't want to see me do that," she said with a smile.

Otabor wasn't anywhere near the tallest or strongest in the event. She isn't muscle bound, but when it was all said and done, Otabor defeated the more physically imposing field which included silver medalist Emma Yungeberg of Michigan. Yungeberg set a school record in her home stadium with a mark of 50.89 meters. Otabor also finished ahead of bronze medal winner Kayla Thorpe of Maryland who had a career day at 50.82 meters.

While believing she is strong and has a fast arm, Otabor credits her technique in the dominant win over the field of 14 competitors. "Javelin is a very technique heavy event," she said. "I would say my technique has come a long way, still have room for improvement, but it's pretty decent for right now."

Prior to college, Otabor was a standout in softball. She only started throwing because her coach correctly thought she could possibly convert her pitching talents into throwing the javelin.

"Initially I used to play softball," she said. "I did a bit of track and field, but it was more on the track side. I ran the 400 [meters] and gradually I realized the 400 really wasn't for me."

While participating in a Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools competition, Otabor was asked by her high school coach to compete in the javelin throw. "My coach knew that I threw softball and he said, 'We need someone to throw javelin. You can throw the softball. Maybe something [will workout]."

Otabor admitted that when she started, she was horrible but with hard work she improved. Now in her fourth collegiate season, she is one of the best javelin throwers of the decade in the NCAA. Otabor has qualified for the NCAA Championships each of the last three seasons. She was the NCAA Champion last season after placing fourth in 2022 when she competed for FIU.

Otabor also has won two Conference USA gold medals (2021 and 2022) as well as two Big Ten gold medals (2023 and 2024).

Big Ten Javelin Throw Top Eight Finishers

1. Rhema Otabor, Nebraska, 57.75

2. Emma Yungeberg, Michigan, 50.89

3. Kayla Thorpe, Maryland, 50.82

4. Eniko Sara, Nebraska, 49.75

5. Mirta Kulisic, Nebraska, 49.18

6. Emanuela Casadei, Nebraska, 47.59

7. Elizabeth Korczak, Iowa, 47.45

8. Samantha Gravatt, Rutgers, 46.57

Minnesota's Autumn Glover Fighting for Heptathlon Medal

Autumn Glover

After day one, Minnesota's Autumn Glover was tied for third in her second heptathlon competition at the Big Ten Championships.

"Tonight I've got to reset, do some ice baths, recover my knee and I'll be good for tomorrow," she said just before leaving the infield of the stadium. Last year, while competing for Michigan State, she placed ninth with 4,907 points and just missed a top eight spot which would've contributed to her team's overall score for the meet.

"I'm not going to lie, coming in, I just wanted to score, so being tied for third is a really big deal," Glover said. "So I'm just going to keep going after it and see what I'm capable of."

There are 14 participants in the event, which is currently led by Shaina Zinter's 3,298 points. Maddie Pitts scored 3,275 on the first day with Purdue's Bryanna Craig and Glover tied with 3,208 points for third place.

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