By MEGYN FITZGERALD
The future looks bright for Pima Community College sophomore track and field star Alice Odu.
With nationally recognized long and triple jump abilities and a contagious personality, Odu is a shoe-in for the outdoor national championships.
“She’s a great person,” head coach Greg Wenneborg said. “The second you meet her, you like her.”
Previously a basketball player, Odu has been involved in track and field since the seventh grade. She continues to put unparalleled efforts into bettering her abilities.
“I’m just happy that a young lady like Alice, after working so hard, is seeing results,” Wenneborg said.
Even though she qualified for nationals on March 10 with a triple jump distance of 38-10 1/4, she isn’t slowing down.
A typical practice for Odu begins at 3:30 p.m. and doesn’t end until 7:30 p.m. Highlights include stretching, 70 sit-ups, 45 push-ups, 450 calf-raises, lots of running, an hour of jumping drills and a trip to the weight room.
She spends most of her time in the weight room doing squats. Since her freshman year, Odu has improved from being able to squat 135 pounds to squatting 265.
“During practice she always has a smile on her face unless she is running 250-meter repeats,” assistant coach Chad Harrison jokingly said. “Alice is a great kid. One that I enjoy coaching.”
It has become a post-competition tradition for Odu and Harrison to share a bag of beef jerky and talk about her jumps, how well she did and where she can improve.
Odu hopes to use her success at Pima, both in track and in the classroom, to transfer somewhere that will help her achieve her goal of becoming a pediatric nurse. She also hopes to move out of Tucson.
“I like Tucson and all my family lives in Tucson, but I would like to move to Dallas, Texas,” she said.
Odu is currently ranked 10th all-time in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump at Pima.
“I will miss her when she’s gone,” Harrison said. “She has done wonders for our track program.”
In her spare time, Odu enjoys reading, listening to R&B music and dancing.
“Well, I’m African, so I’m really good at African dance,” Odu said.