Rhasidat Adeleke will go in search of history this weekend as she hopes to become the first Irish woman to win a NCAA Division 1 sprint title.
The Tallaght sprinter will look to take the 400m title on Saturday night and join an illustrious list of past Irish NCAA champions including Sonia O'Sullivan, Eamonn Coghlan and Marcus O'Sullivan.
Adeleke has been in scintillating form so far this year, lowering her national 200m record and breaking the Irish indoor 400m record which had stood for over twenty years.
Most recently, at the end of last month, the 20-year-old clocked a superb time of 50.33s to lower the national record she had set only three weeks earlier.
Quite remarkable for someone who has only started properly training for the event in recent months and believes she is very much still learning.
If you told me after 4 months of training for the 400m, I’d be running 50.3 indoors I would’ve laughed.
I’m soo grateful, but I’m not done yet.
I appreciate all the support!🤍
— Rhasidat Adeleke (@rhasidatadeleke) February 26, 2023
"I’m still not familiar with what my limits are so I might go out a little bit slow, I might go out a bit slower than I actually can and that’s definitely something I’m working on, to be able to understand my body and understand how fast I can go without tensing up too much," she told Balls.ie recently.
"I definitely do think I have a long way to go. I can see it with the training, I just started the training in October and it’s definitely been hard but I feel like I’m getting better, I’m getting stronger."
The Texas University student currently has the third fastest time in the world this year for the 400m, sitting behind talented American sprinter Talitha Diggs and Dutch star Femke Bol who broke the world record last month and took gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul last weekend.
It appears that it will be very much a battle between Adeleke and Diggs for NCAA glory on Saturday.
Less than 90 minutes after Adeleke had broken the NCAA record last month, Diggs lowered the record once again clocking a sensational time of 50.15s.
The University of Florida student has, like Adeleke, been rewriting the record books in 2023. Her NCAA record was also an American national record which sets things up nicely for this weekend.
When is Rhasidat Adeleke racing?
Both athletes should qualify with relative ease from the semi-finals which get underway at 11:25pm (Irish Time) tonight in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The final is down for decision at 11:20pm on Saturday night with Adeleke also hoping to medal in the 4x400m relay one hour later.
A number of top Irish male athletes will also be in action throughout the weekend. Brian Fay of the University of Washington will be aiming to challenge for a podium position in the Men's Mile. Michael Power, Charlie O'Donovan, Shane Bracken and Abdel Laadjel are also worth keeping an eye out for.
It could be another historic weekend for Irish athletics.