LONDON – The field is set for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, as a pair of Columbia alums and one current student-athlete will embark on the meet beginning Friday, August 4.
Rising senior Akua Obeng-Akrofi takes part in the 4x100m relay, while John Gregorek '14CC qualified in the 1,500m, and Nadia Eke '15CC advanced in the triple jump. Eke will compete first on Saturday, Aug. 5, Gregorek's opening heat gets under way on Thursday, Aug. 10, and Obeng-Akrofi's relay takes place on Saturday, Aug. 12. Start lists will become available after the technical meeting on Thursday.
Much like last summer when she made the Ghana Olympic team in the 4x100m relay, Obeng-Akrofi once again will take part in the event in London. Last summer's Olympics provided a large confidence boost for Obeng-Akrofi, who exploded on the scene during her junior season. The Lawrenceville, Georgia, native won Ivy League titles in the indoor and outdoor 400m run, while setting school record in the 200m (23.26) and advancing to the NCAA East Prelims in both events. She has significant experience in the relay events, as Obeng-Akrofi helped set an Ivy League and school record in the DMR during the 2017 Penn Relays.
Gregorek achieved a personal best in the 1,500m already this season during the TrackTown Summer Series meet at Icahn Stadium on Radalls Island. Back on July 6, the 2014 Columbia College grad kicked past Robby Andrews in the final 50 meters to take the tape in 3:35.00. Gregorek bested a pair of World Championship qualifiers in that race, as Craig Engels who finished fourth will also join Andrews and Gregorek in London among the field of 48. Those three will join Olympic Gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz as the U.S. has four World Championship entries in the metric mile.
Eke was one of 28 women to hit the qualifying standard for the World Championships when she leaped a career best 13.93m (45-8.5) back on May 13. The Columbia school record and Ivy League record holder in the event had one of the most decorated careers as a Lion. A native of Accra, Ghana, Eke was a four-time All-American at Columbia, and won a total of nine Ivy League titles during her collegiate career between the triple jump and the long jump.