Meet Godson Oghenebrume, the latest in a long line of sprint stars for LSU

Meet Godson Oghenebrume, the latest in a long line of sprint stars for LSU

It wasn’t difficult to see the potential Godson Oghenebrume brought with him to the LSU track and field program in January 2022.

Oghenebrume, a native of Nigeria, had been chosen as an 18-year-old to be an alternate on the 4×100-meter relay team for the Tokyo Olympics the previous summer but couldn’t make the trip after coming down with COVID.

However, the sprint talent was unmistakable after his 100 meters time of 10.13 seconds was the third-fastest in the world among U20 competitors that year. It also was an African 18-and-under record.

To be sure, there were flashes as a freshman at LSU even though Oghenebrume was in a foreign land that was a 16-hour flight from his home.

He posted a personal-record time of 10.12 seconds in the short sprint, showing his collegiate career was ready to take off.

And it has, especially over the last month.

In a span of three weeks, he clocked an all-conditions best of 9.97 seconds in winning the 100 in the LSU Alumni Gold meet, won with a wind-aided 10.01 in the LSU Invitational and became the Southeastern Conference champion with a wind-legal PR of 10.04 on May 13.

Only three former LSU greats — Richard Thompson (9.89), Nethaneel Michell-Blake (9.99) and Trindon Holliday (10.00) — have run faster.

“I’m excited,” Oghenebrume said Tuesday. “I want to keep getting better every meet I run in. I just want to stay healthy and do what I have to do.”

He’ll try to do that in the NCAA meet that begins Wednesday with the East preliminary rounds in Jacksonville, Florida. The LSU men compete Wednesday and Friday with the women going Thursday and Saturday.

The top 12 finishers in each individual event and relays advance to the national semifinals and finals June 7-10 in Austin, Texas.

While Oghenebrume won’t be favored to win the 100 at nationals because Texas Tech’s Terrence Jones has a wind-legal best of 9.91 seconds this spring, he has impressed.

His steady progression isn’t a surprise to LSU coach Dennis Shaver — all things considered.

Tops among them are his age (he’ll turn 19 Saturday) and the fact that he’s only been in the U.S. for 16 months.

“When he came here last January, we hardly ran him during the indoor season,” Shaver said. “But this year, we had him for all of fall training and that was a big key to the season he’s having so far.”

Specifically, Oghenebrume has taken full advantage of the specialized training and weightlifting programs available to him now to make his mark as one of the nation’s top sprinters.

“That was my first time experiencing fall practice and I needed that build-up to the season,” he said. “Every improvement that’s going on right now is because of fall practice.

“It prepared me differently for this season. Fall practice is making everything happen right now.”

There’s no reason to believe his strong run won’t continue, Shaver said, at the NCAAs or in the world championships later this summer in Budapest, Hungary.

“It’s been fun to watch this year because he’s become more open to doing higher-level training and training more at longer distances,” he said. “The biggest improvement has been in his start.”

That was evident in the 100 final at the SEC meet.

After a poor start in Friday’s prelims, Oghenebrume blasted from his blocks and just edged Auburn’s Favour Ashe, a fellow Nigerian, by four-hundredths of a second — 10.04 to 10.08.

“He didn’t have a very good start in the prelims, but in the final he got out,” Shaver said.

The 100 final came 80 minutes after a sizzling 4×100-meter relay final in which Oghenebrume anchored the Tigers to a collegiate-record time of 37.90 seconds, nipping Florida’s Robert Gregory at the finish.

Solid exchanges by Brandon Hicklin, Dorian Camel and Da’Marcus Fleming got the baton around to Oghenebrume, who outdueled Gregory in a thrilling stretch run. Florida also broke the old collegiate record with a 37.93.

It was especially sweet for Oghenebrume, who turned down an offer from Florida to come to LSU. In doing so, he followed his older sister, Ese Brume, who trained with several pro athletes some years ago to Baton Rouge.

Brume was the bronze medalist in the long jump at the Tokyo Olympics and is a three-time world championships medalist.

“I have known about LSU track since I was in high school,” Oghenebrume said. “I like everything, all the sports traditions. They have one of the best track and field programs in the nation; good coaches, good environment. I have been a big fan of LSU.”

Now, LSU is a big fan of his.


About Marc Lemoine 3991 Articles
Marc is an Economist and a well experienced weightlifter who has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on sports, finance and economy.

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