Junior Anu Awonusi Reflects on his Success With the Men’s Track and Field Team

by Jessica McKenzie and Shannon Gleba, Asst. Features Editor & Staff Writer 

Anu Awonusi is a current junior on the Manhattan College men’s track and field team. A management major from Ireland, Awonusi has shined as a thrower during recent indoor and outdoor track seasons.

In the outdoor 2019 season, Awonusi set a personal best in the shot put at the Sam Howell Invitational with a throw of 17.11 meters, earning fifth place overall. Awonusi also finished second in the shot at the Metropolitan Outdoor Championships, recording a distance of 16.09 meters. Additionally, he competed in the discus throw at Mets, earning sixth place with a 46.05-meter performance, according to gojaspers.com. This past February at the 2020 MAAC Indoor Championships, Awonusi won the shot put event and was named the Most Outstanding Performer.

Like other spring sports, the track and field team’s upcoming outdoor season has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the meantime, Awonusi is busy preparing for competition next academic year. The Quadrangle caught up with Awonusi to talk about his run of success on the men’s track and field team and what his goals are moving forward.

The Quadrangle: How long have you been doing field performance?

Anu Awonusi: I’ve been doing track and field for about 7 years.

TQ: How did you start field performance?

AA: When I was in high school one of my teachers got me to try it out during the summer term when the rugby season was finished. 

TQ: What made you choose Manhattan? Describe your experience there so far.

AA: Manhattan College being so close to New York City was definitely a huge part of me choosing to come. What has kept me here is the people and community h

Junior student athlete Awu Awonusi is a standout thrower for the Manhattan College men’s track and field team. COURTESY/GO JASPERS

ere at MC. The MC community is full of incredibly kind and inspiring individuals; the sense of unity is unmatched here. 

TQ: Describe the timeline of your indoor season and your most proud achievement from it.

AA: This indoor season was a bit of a slow start for me. I was dealing with some injury over the preseason which then put a pause on some of the progression. Once [I] got over that, things started to pick up specifically at the BU invitational where I really felt good. I think that my biggest moments this indoor season would really have to have been between winning MAAC with outstanding performers and then going to IC4A’s and hitting a personal record of 18 [meters]!

TQ: Describe how you felt winning the Most Outstanding Field Performer award this year at the MAAC Championship.

AA: I  was absolutely shocked and was in no way expecting it to happen. It’s for sure a huge highlight for my career. The MAAC has a great amount of talent so to be picked out of the bunch was incredibly heartwarming. The hope for any athlete, I think, is to always perform at the top of whatever level you are at so to be recognized for that is something I will not forget.

TQ: How was the experience of going to the MAAC Indoor Championships this year different than in years past? 

AA: This year was definitely different mainly because I was one of the favorites going into the conference, but I’m also an upperclassman so I felt the responsibility to really set the tone for what was expected from us as a team. In previous years, I [was] led [by] the example of incredible seniors and juniors who really set the tone of what it meant to go out and “Do your job.” It’s a mentality of going out and giving your very best each time.

TQ: What was the most memorable team experience you had this indoor season?

AA: I think as a team my fondest memory from the indoor season would have to be  any of our overnight trips. We always have the best times on those weekends. Lots of laughs and fun happens. 

TQ: What are you most looking forward to next season?

AA: I’m looking forward to being with the team again! I’m excited to get back and go at it again. Looking forward to defending my MAAC title, hoping to claim an outdoor title, but ultimately I’ve got nationals in my sights so that will be the biggest goal and thing I’m looking forward to.

TQ: Describe your relationship with your teammates. What makes you all unique?

AA: I think the one word I would use for my teammates would be intentional. It’s what makes our team different; each person intentionally invests into each other on and off the field. It is my favorite thing about us we all intentionally invest into making our teammates better.

TQ: Do you have a routine when it comes to practice? How has that routine changed with school moving online?

AA: Our coaches have been very good at giving us tools to help us stay active. The trick that I’ve adopted is keeping my workout schedules at the same time they would normally occur!