Q&A: Women's Track & Field Marvellous Iheukwumere
It was a big sprint indoor season for you in the Ivy League last year, including two indoor titles. How did it feel to win both the 60m and 200m crowns?
“It felt great, it was an awesome moment. I was really happy to finally win the 60m and 200m. My freshman year I was third in the 60m, and second in the 200m my sophomore year, I finished second in the 60m and won the 200m, and then as a junior I won both. I was happy to get points for my team as well and it solidified a good indoor season for me. “
What’s the feeling and mindset as a senior heading into your final indoor season?
“I’m excited, I’m feeling very strong, and ambitious. I feel like I have matured in a lot of ways, on and off the track. My experiences in track have definitely helped me learn a lot about staying humble and also staying hungry. I’m going in with a “push myself to greater heights, defy my personal limits, and go hard from beginning to end.” With God, all things are possible and I’m praying that I can do bigger and better things and end my career here at Columbia on an excellent note."
What are some of the team goals for this Indoor season?
“ An important team goal for us is to win Indoor Heps. We won my sophomore year and it was completely unexpected because we were missing key members. This year, we have a great group of individuals and I’d like for us to win my senior year. Another goal is to stay healthy. I would also love for a good group of us to make it to NCAA Indoor Championships. That would be awesome and would do a lot for our track program, both women and men.”
Name a few personal goals that you may have for this season?
"I want to better my best, and I want to make it to NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. I want to have the best senior year I can possibly have on and off the track, and I want to continue to be a great teammate and role model."
You open the season with a tri-meet against Dartmouth & Yale before jumping into a number of Invitationals and Classics. Is there any different approach or feeling when you go up against you Ivy League foes like this?
"This tri-meet is good for preparing for our conference meet because it’s at the same location (Dartmouth). I think that being able to test out the track and compete on it is definitely important for preparing for conference. When I compete, I compete. So there is not really much of a different approach. It’s a track meet, it’s exciting, and I love track season and everything about track, so every meet is an opportunity for me to improve my best and to do what I love with my teammates."
A number of races and meets will be held at the New York Armory this season. What’s special about getting a chance to compete at the Armory?
"The Armory is an amazing track and I am blessed to practice and compete there. I love the bank and some of my fastest times have come from competitions at the Armory. It’s also great that it’s a world-renowned track, and sometimes during practice we see pro track runners. It’s great to know that you’re practicing and competing where the greatest in our sport train and compete as well. Just walking into the Armory inspires me a lot! I look at the records and I’m motivated to do well. The USA Track and Field Hall of Fame is in there too, which is definitely inspiring and amazing. I’m glad I’ve been able to compete and practice there and I look forward to doing so even after college."
What are you looking forward to the most this season?
"There are a lot of things to look forward to! I am very excited, and I am also very hungry. There are a lot of things that I want to accomplish not just for myself, but for my team and for Columbia University as a whole. I am looking forward to having the best senior year on and off the track, and stepping up to my full potential. I want to savor every meet and every moment."