Athlete to Watch: A day in the life of record setting track and field star Victor Ogbebor

Victor Ogbebor prepares for his meet at U of C. Photoby Christian Canizal

Victor Ogbebor prepares for his meet at U of C. Photoby Christian Canizal

Christian Canizal

Staff Writer


What’s does a record setting, all-conference track star have for breakfast in the morning? A sausage McGriddle, of course.

That’s what Victor Ogbebor ate before his first outdoor track meet of the season at the University of Chicago on April 1. 

Ogbebor holds the school record for the indoor 60-meter dash, with a time of 6.99 seconds, which may have given him confidence before the meet. 

“I don’t really get nervous,” said Ogbebor. “If anything, I’m excited for my first outdoor meet of the season. I’m doing big things this year.” 

Ogbebor has already done big things this spring, earning all-conference in indoor and coming up just one spot shy of qualifying for nationals.

However, it is what Ogbebor does off-the-track which impresses head coach Jim Akita most.

“Vic is a good leader with the sprint crew,” said Akita before the University of Chicago Outdoor Invitational. “Its nice to see that. It makes my job easier when I don’t have to worry that the guys aren’t warming up because he’s making sure things are getting done.” 

Ogbebor looked at the track sheet to see what time he was scheduled to run and quickly realized his competition was going to be top notch.

“This team right here, [Benedictine University], they kept me from qualifying for nationals. They’re really good.” 

In addition to EC, there were 14 other teams at the U of C Invite on Saturday.

Ogbebor appeared to be fine in warm ups as he prepared for his first event that evening, the long jump. His coach felt that he was in the zone. 

“I like his demeanor, he’s very calm, kind of [always] relaxed. Some guys get all riled up” Akita said. “He knows what is his job is, he does the work and it shows up.”  

Unfortunately, for Ogbebor, the numbers just were not showing up on Saturday.

After a couple of board infractions, Ogbebor tweaked his hamstring, hindering him from hitting his usual jump numbers. 

After a couple of attempts at long jump, Ogbebor was able to get on the board by jumping 6’1” with his lingering hamstring issue, which is still far less than what he averages when healthy as coaches have said he has jumped 6’9” before.

His final event was the 100-meter dash. 

Although he ran a solid time, Ogbebor was upset and felt that he could have ran better if it were not for another runner.

“He got in my lane and I bumped him with my hand,” Ogbebor told Akita. “I hit his elbow which made him go faster and slowed me down.” 

On a day that had gotten away from him, Ogbebor’s spirits were still high.

“I could’ve done better,” he said. “I will. It was the first meet and I’m only going to get better.”