Maryland thrower Angel Nkwonta has one simple goal as she enters the NCAA Indoor Championships.
“The goal is to get first team All-American,” she said.
Nkwonta qualified for the championship with a record-setting shot put performance at the Indoor Big Ten Championships in Geneva, Ohio, last month, posting a mark of 17.27 meters.
Now the lone Terp set to compete at the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday. Nkwonta is aiming higher. With the way she has been performing thus far, such a goal seems well within her reach.
In order to be named a first team All-American, an athlete must place in the top eight at the national championships, and Nkwonta is in good shape so far. Her mark at the Indoor Big Ten championships not only broke a nearly 40-year-old Maryland program record, but also placed her seventh in the nation in the shot put.
So, replicating that performance could well put her in the ballpark to attain her goal.
“I just have to keep my mind right and just try and do what I’ve been doing,” Nkwonta said.
Although she’s a highly rated shot putter, it might not actually be her best event. For Nkwonta, that’s the weight toss.
She set a program record in the event earlier this season at the Penn State Invitational with a distance of 21.36 meters. Currently ranked No. 17 in the nation, Nkwonta was just one spot shy of qualifying for the national competition in both events.
Nonetheless, Nkwonta is just glad to be going into the championships in at least one event. She’s put herself in a position to succeed.
And as she steps in the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, she’ll be focused on her goal.
“If I can just keep doing what I’ve been doing, then I’ll get first team,” Nkwonta said.