Agbaje seeking a championship
Fredrick Agbaje said people "expected" him to break the Dickinson State record in the men's 100 meters.
When the Nigeria native ran like the howling wind he was competing in and finished the race in 10.16 seconds in the Blue Hawk Open on May 10, Agbaje, as expected, was overcome with happiness.
His blazing time catapulted him atop of the NAIA men's national rankings in the event. The sophomore sensation ranks No. 2 in the 200 at 21.02 with his personal-best being 21.01 (2012).
Now, Agbaje prepares to race in the 100, 200 and 400 relay at the NAIA Track and Field National Championships today in Marion, Ind.
With Agbaje's high rankings, ultimately, come high expectations. However, rankings are just numbers to Agbaje and the only expectations he's thinking about are the personal ones he has set upon himself.
"I am ranked No. 1, but I never set out to do anything like that," Agbaje said. "I try to focus on the ones (expectations) I put on myself. I'm No. 1, but I don't want to get crazy with that. I know what is ahead of me. I know what is expected of me. But it's what I want. I want to run a great race."
Duplicating or even bettering 10.16 seconds is a tall expectation. Agbaje wants to beat his personal record or at least match it at nationals. But the ultimate goal is to return to Dickinson as a national champion.
"My dream is to win a national championship," he said. "I want to come home No. 1."
His time smashed the record held by Jamal Forbes and never bettered by Olympian Derrick Atkins and Adrian Griffith during their time at DSU in the early and mid-2000s.
Agbaje concluded the indoor season at nationals by placing in the 60 and 200 with times of 6.77 and 21.45 seconds, respectively. He felt his performance at the end of the indoor season was a precursor to his successful outdoor year.
"I wanted to come out strong after the indoor nationals," Agbaje said. "That is what I set out to do and I feel that I did."
Agbaje won the 100 at the Tom Gage Classic on May 3, in Bozeman, Mont., with a 10.66. A week later at the Blue Hawk Open, Agbaje made DSU history.
With the two more years that lie ahead at DSU, only time will tell what place Agbaje leaves in school history.
"I'll do my best to make Dickinson proud," he said.