Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Freshman thrower Nina Ndubuisi talks life as a student athlete, goals for indoor championship season

Joshua Guenther

Texas women’s track and field shot put thrower Nina Ndubuisi said she came to Texas because of the prestige of the program, and has found herself abundant with success so far. She achieved a personal best throw of 18.08 meters in the shot-put event at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic, propelling herself to the No. 2 spot on the all-time performer list for Texas. 

Ndubuisi is currently ranked at No. 4 in the NCAA rankings, and said that she is proud of her results, but is always striving to achieve more and knows the impermanence of records and results. 

“Coming to this success so quickly is an amazing feeling, but I always have in mind that this is just a time period and things can change tomorrow,” Ndubuisi said. “But I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved so far.” 

The freshman thrower, who hails from Germany, describes how balancing sports and academics proved challenging during her first semester on the Forty Acres. However, she has adjusted to the student athlete life and has no regrets in choosing to compete as a Longhorn. 

“I think it was a good decision that I came to Texas,” Ndubuisi said. “Everything worked out for me this semester, it’s way more chill because I kind of found my way.” 

Ndubuisi said she attributes her success to the program’s assistant coach Zeb Sion, who serves as a support system for her athletic and personal life. 

“I feel like he’s a major part of me becoming this good,” Ndubuisi said. “He’s a go-to person not just in sports, but also personally.”

The collegiate indoor track and field season is wrapping up with the Big 12 Championships followed by the NCAA National Championships looming in the distance. Ndubuisi said she aims to win the Big 12 title, but has no set goals for the national championships. 

“I’ve never competed on that stage before, so I don’t know if I’m going to be nervous and I don’t know what is going to happen, so I don’t want to set my expectations too high,” she said.

Ndubuisi is the 2023 European under-20 shot put champion, and said the main difference between international and collegiate competition is how much deeper the talent pool is. 

“I would go to competitions in Germany ranked No. 1,” Ndubuisi said. “Now in the U.S., I go to meets and do not know (the athletes) but they have such huge personal records.” 

Despite being intimidated by the change in level of competition on the collegiate stage, including the number of female throwers as her teammates, Ndubuisi reigns as Texas’ best shot putter and is climbing the ranks nationally. 

Ndubuisi said she has bonded with her female teammates, who contribute to the supportive and enjoyable training environment. 

“Here in Texas having so many female throwers with me, we encourage each other during practice,” Ndubuisi said. “It’s fun during practice, we crack jokes and laugh.”

Maintaining a balance of her personal and athletic life is important for Ndubuisi, who feels her personhood extends beyond her throws and results. 

“I feel like as a person, I’m more than just sports,” she said. “If I take this too seriously, I would define my whole personality (based on) sports, but I am so much more than that.”

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