The accolades continue to pile in for Bahamian throwing sensation Rhema Otabor.
The Florida International University (FIU) junior thrower is a nominee for the school’s overall female athlete of the year award as announced by the FIU Athletic Department at its annual awards gala, the Blue and Gold Awards Banquet, inside their Student Academic Success Center (SASC) Ballroom on the school’s campus, in Miami, Florida, on Monday.
Otabor is a favorite for the award, having finished as the school’s only All-American first teamer at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships this year. She won the Conference USA tittle in the women’s javelin for the second year in a row, qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second year in a row, and is the school’s record holder in the women’s javelin with a toss of 56.25 meters (m) – 184’ 6” – done at the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in Gainesville, Florida, in April of this year.
At the NCAAs earlier this month, Otabor finished fourth with a best throw of 55.92m (183’ 5”) – the highest finish for any FIU Panthers athlete at the championships. She also became the first FIU track and field athlete since Clarissa Cutliff in 2018 and 2019 to appear in consecutive NCAA Outdoor Championships.
“We’re so proud of Rhema and all that she accomplished this season,” said FIU Panthers Head Coach of Athletics Ryan Heberling following the NCAA Championships. “Rhema is just scratching the surface of how good she can be.”
Nationally, Otabor broke the junior national record three times last season and bettered that mark three times this season. She has a personal best throw of 56.25m – second only to Laverne Eve in the history of athletics for The Bahamas. She is a multiple CARIFTA Champion, has won gold at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Under-18, Under-20 and Under-23 Championships, and also is a fourth place finisher from the most recent World Athletics (WA) Under-20 Championships in Kasarani, Nairobi, Kenya.
On Monday past, Otabor received recognition for her accomplishments throughout the 2021-22 season. She ends the year as the school’s female track and field athlete of the year and as a nominee for the school’s overall female athlete of the year award. That latter will be announced at a later date, following the conclusion of the spring sports schedule.