Not many high school track and field athletes can run a competitive 100-meter dash and turn around and throw a 8.8-pound shot put at a competitive clip.
But that’s just the athleticism Jamestown freshman Anthonett Nabwe possesses.
The first-year member of the Blue Jays track and field team is qualified for state in the 100 (12.81 seconds), shot put (39 feet, 1 inch) and javelin (116-10), while she’s four inches away (16-4) from qualifying in the long jump.
“I’ve been focusing on what my coaches are telling me to do and do it,” Nabwe said, who moved from Africa to Jamestown before the school year.
Jamestown coach Mike Dietz said that he doesn’t believe Nabwe’s had any track and field experience coming into this year and has been coachable because she listens to whatever advice the coaches give her.
“She’s still learning. That’s what all the coaches agreed on is that once she’s figured it out, she’s going to be fun to watch,” Dietz said. “There’s not an event she won’t be good at and she’s really focusing on getting better. There’ll be some ups and downs, but she’s so physically talented.”
Nabwe had her first breakout performance as a Blue Jay on May 4 as the freshman tossed a personal-best 116-10 in the javelin during the Howard Wood Dakota Relays, a regional event. Nabwe won the inaugural javelin event, which also gave her the meet record.
“It’s pretty fun,” Nabwe said, who was recruited out of basketball season to compete this spring. “I was keeping my hands straight and keeping my chin up.”
Also on May 4, Nabwe qualified for state in the 100 with a 15th-place 12.81 in the prelims. Nabwe finished 12th in the finals with a mark of 13.25.
“To go down and get a meet record in the javelin is neat to see,” Dietz said. “Even in the 100, she’s barely ran the 100 and ran a 12.81 and I think she’s capable of going faster.
“What she’s done is very impressive. She’s still learning coming out of the block. We may run her in the 200 in the next couple meets. There’s a lot of things she’ll do very well eventually.”
Along with the 100, shot put, javelin and long jump, Nabwe’s competed in the 4x100 relay, 60, 200 and 4x200 relay. Dietz said he’ll keep putting her in events to see where she’s the best at.
“I have high expectations and the sky’s the limit,” Dietz said. “She has the ability to place very high. You can see the physical traits to be a good athlete and is a good kid. When it’s time to work, she just works. That’s one thing about track is she’s willing to get better.
“She’s physically talented and has speed. You can’t teach that.”
Jamestown has eight state qualifiers including sophomore Meghan Ford (1600, 800, 3200), senior Abby Kallenbach (triple jump, high jump), sophomore Gavin Haut (3,200), senior Marcus Hochhalter (discus, shot put), junior Jessica Walter (shot put), senior Aaron Mack (javelin) and senior Paul Vandal (javelin).
Jamestown travels to the Shiloh Twilight at Shiloh Christian High School on Friday night. The Blue Jays’ lone home event on Saturday, Al Cassell Relays, has been canceled due to deteriorating track conditions at University of Jamestown’s track and field complex.