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Davis, California

Monday, May 27, 2024

Female Athlete of the Year

Senior Chidinma Onyewuenyi was unstoppable this season.

In her final year as an Aggie, Onyewuenyi set the school record for both the shot put and hammer throw, landing 15.88 and 58.96 meters, respectively. The Gilroy, Calif. native enjoys the two events for different reasons.

“Shot put is my event,” Onyewuenyi said. “It’s my strong suit, and it’s a lot more emotional. The hammer is more relaxed, and I have more fun with it.”

Throughout her career, Onyewuenyi has looked up to two role models in the field. She is most influenced by Loree Smith for her hammer throw and Andy Bloom for his shot put. Both are Olympic-caliber athletes.

“Loree Smith has an incredible work ethic and personality,” Onyewuenyi said. “She’s laid back and fun to be around.”

The Gilroy, Calif. native also recognizes the immense support she has received from her coaches and teammates. Onyewuenyi needed to have them on her side when she dealt with injury issues during her fourth year.

“With injuries, you have to make sure you aren’t letting it get the best of you,” Onyewuenyi said. “I always looked at my coaches as parents and my teammates as brothers and sisters. They call me out and shape me up. They’re the people that know me the best.”

Now, as her five-year career is ending, Onyewuenyi reflects on the program’s impact on her life.

“These years have helped me define who I am,” Onyewuenyi said. “I wouldn’t take them back, and I’ll never take them for granted.”

– Caleigh Guoynes


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