Before taking her discus throws at the Wes Kittley Invitational in Abilene, Texas, Angelo State Daisy Osakue allowed a few doubts to enter her mind. It makes sense. She is a freshman who was born and raised in Italy.
Her teammates, though, knew what she was capable of. They see it in practice every day. And, a week earlier, Osakue finished first in the Cactus Cup 2017 with a throw of 176 feet, 1 inch.
Still, the encouragement from her teammates helped Osakue reach a new level.
“They said, ‘Daisy, you can do it, you can do it. What are you talking about. You did it in practice,’” Osakue said. “They are the ones pushing me more. You hear them screaming and shouting for me.”
Osakue threw a personal best of 188-7 and finished first at the West Kittley Invitational on March 24. A week later, Osakue went to the Texas Relays and competed against Division I athletes.
Brimming with confidence, Osakue nearly finished first at the Texas Relays with a throw of 176-10. It took a school record from the University of Texas discus thrower Elena Bruckner of 179-3 to beat Osakue.
“At the Texas Relays, I was happy, but sad at the same time,” Osakue said. “I was happy because usually after you do a great performance, the performance after it is pretty bad. I was happy because I wasn’t too far from my P.R., but at the same time I was sad because I could have won.”
Angelo State coach Tom Dibbern likes what he sees from Osakue early in the season.
“She is doing really well, mainly because of her consistency,” Dibbern said. “At the Texas Relays was only her third-best performance of the year. She has thrown better in two other meets.
“When you get consistency like that, as a coach, you think it is going to bode well in the future for you. It wasn’t a fluke throw. She has repeated it many times.”
Osakue fits perfectly in Angelo State women’s track and field team. Traditionally, Dibbern said, Angelo State excels in the technical events like the throws, the jumps and hurdles.
Osakue landed at Angelo State, in part, because her Godparents are from Houston.
“It is positive,” Dibbern said of Osakue joining the team. “It is always a good thing when you are trying to build a good team for the conference meet. When you can add national-caliber kids who can score in multiple events, it is huge for you.”
It is early in the outdoor season, but Angelo State is ranked No. 2 in the USTFCCCA top 25 behind only West Texas A&M.
Coming into the outdoor season, Dibbern liked what he saw from the women’s team in the indoor season. The women’s team finished second in the Lone Star Conference meet.
“I think it was really good because our conference meet, relative to past years, we did a little bit better than we have,” Dibbern said. “We were in the meet until the end. We are traditionally a better outdoor program than indoor. I think that good start will catapult us into the outdoor season.”
The early successes please Dibbern on many levels. He became the head men’s and women’s track coach and cross country coach on July, 2016. Dibbern competed and graduated from Angelo State.
“This program means a lot,” Dibbern said. “I competed here. I was an assistant here for 10 years. The opportunity to work for my former boss, who is now the athletic director, was a huge draw.
“I love Angelo State. I love West Texas. It means a lot to me.”
Osakue definitely feels that family atmosphere in the track program.
“I like my coach. I like my teammates and everything,” she said. “We are all together. We are like a big family. I love that.”
West Texas A&M women moves to No. 1
It was a historic moment for the West Texas A&M women’s track and field program on Tuesday when it jumped from No. 11 to No. 1 in the USTFCCCA top 25.
“I am just excited where we are at right now,” said West Texas head coach Darren Flowers on the school’s website. “I am excited about the opportunity that we have to get better as the season goes along. I think we have a great team and we are going to have to keep proving that every week.”
A couple of West Texas A&M student-athletes who helped the Lady Buffs make the climb in the polls were senior Rellie Kaputin and sophomore Norma Cunigan. Kaputin recorded the top triple jump in Division II at the Texas Relays and Cunigan broke the school record in the discus. Her throw currently ranks her third in Division II.
Pittsburg State jumps to third in the poll
Pittsburg State women’s track and field program made the most of its first significant outdoor meet of the season.
By winning the Pittsburg State Invitational, the team jumped from unranked to No. 3.
One reason for the success was the performance of sophomore sprinter Imani Hutchinson, who broke two, 22-year-old sprint records at Pittsburg State. She ran the 100 meter dash in 11.59 and the 200 meter dash in 23.96, which both rank second in Division II.
Pittsburg State is coming off a fourth-place finish in the national indoor meet.