By Dare Esan: Sprinter Cecilia Francis and Middle Distance runner, Abike Funke Egbeniyi, emerged 60m and 400m indoor champions respectively Sunday at the Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the CrossPlex Indoor arena in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
Francis sped to a new personal best of 7.37 seconds to win the 60m dash and move from fourth to joint second with Alphonsus Anikeme on the Nigerian top list for the on-going indoor season.
The petite sprinter coached by world renowned Tony Osheku who facilitated her move to the Middle Tennessee State University late last year had on January 28 set her then personal best of 7.41 seconds.Stephanie Kalu remains the fastest Nigerian over 60m so far this season with the 7.29 seconds she ran on Saturday at College Station in Texas.
Egbeniyi on her part ran an impressive 52.77 seconds, her second fastest time this season, to win the 400m title.
The Nigerian had earlier won her heat with 53.89 to qualify for the final.
Only last week Egbeniyi, also one of the athletes on the stable of coach Osheku who also facilitated her move to Middle Tennessee State University, was named Conference USA Female Track Athlete of the Week for the second time this season by the conference office after her stellar performance in which she claimed a first place finish at the Iowa State Classic to ink a personal best 52.64 seconds in the 400m event.
Egbeniyi sits atop the Nigerian 400m 2018 indoor list with her 52.64 seconds personal best supplanting hitherto leader,Emerald Egwim (53.72) while IAAF World Championships semi-finalist,Reginna George is third (53.94).