“The conference (SEC) is a great fit for my goals” – Mercy Abire, on transfer from Oral Roberts to Louisiana State University

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The fact that Nigerian student athletes are making waves in US colleges cannot be over emphasised, with recent products such as Tobi Amusan and Divine Oduduru, being shining examples.

This tables the fact that more NCAA Division I top colleges are now after home grown Nigerian athletes, with some of these athletes now making transfers to these high ranked colleges.

Two weeks ago, University of Florida (UF) announced Summit League 60m Indoor Champion, Raymond Ekevwo, has transferred from Oral Roberts University (ORU), to the school as one of their new intakes for the 2018/2019 season, which means he’s now committed to the school for the rest of his collegiate career.

And now we’ve confirmed that ORU’s Long Jump record holder, Mercy Abire has also taken the bold step of joining Louisiana State University for the 2019 season, and her remaining two college years.

Speaking on what prompted her choice of joining LSU, Abire said “I felt LSU was a better fit for me. It has basically all I want as an athlete, great facility, good medical and I always want to compete in strong meets to be more better. And the conference (SEC) is a great fit for my goals 100 percent.”

When asked if she feels any pressure as the only Nigerian student athlete presently in LSU, she said “It’s no pressure for me at all, the team are great and great to work with. So best for me is to focus on my goals and why I’m here. Goals best known to me and my new coach. Let’s be patient to wait for the results.”

Abire, a specialist in Long and Triple Jump, won several Summit League titles and medals in her two years stay at ORU. This year was the highlight of her college career, earning Long Jump second team All-America honours at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships, leaping to 6.27m on her first attempt to finish in 13th place.

She recorded a personal best of 6.33m and broke ORU’s school record twice this year, first with 6.43m and then 6.50m (both wind aided). At the Summit League Championships, she won three conference titles in the Long Jump (6.50m), Triple Jump (13.10m) and as a member of the 4x100m relay team (45.48s), thereby named co-Women’s Field Championship MVP.

The native of Delta State, will be joining an elite league of female college athletes in LSU, which currently boasts of NCAA 100m Champion, Aleia Hobbs while the school also holds the 4x100m collegiate record.

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