AFTER being impressed by the exploits of rising triple jumper Chengetayi Mapaya and sprinter Tinotenda Matiyenga, Texas Christian University (TCU) have added yet another young Zimbabwean prodigy to their roster after confirming the signing of St George,s College teenage sprint prodigy Simbarashe Maketa.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
TCU, who compete in the elite National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One, confirmed the signing of the 17-year-old on a full scholarship on Friday.
“Maketa comes to TCU as a sprinter from Zimbabwe, where he has been one of the top African sprinters in the last year,” TCU, who are affectionately known as the Horned Frogs, confirmed on their official website.
“He brings a Zimbabwe Junior record time of 20.95 in the 200m, a mark he ran at the Pretoria PUMA School of Speed meet. Usian Bolt is the principal director of the PUMA School of Speed. He also reached the 200m finals in the African Youth Games in July of this year. Maketa will be TCU’s third athlete from Zimbabwe, joining All-Americans Chengetayi Mapaya and Tinotenda Matiyenga,” the American university said in a statement.
TCU track and field head coach Darryl Anderson expressed his satisfaction at the impact made by the duo of Mapaya and Matiyenga since joining the programme and expressed confidence that Maketa would follow suit.
“We feel like we have a good start to recruiting,” Anderson said. “We’re continuing to work on it and possibly bring in some kids at mid-year.
“The African guys we have on the team have done really well for us, so to add Simba from Zimbabwe, we’re really excited,” Anderson said. “He’s an Africa Junior finalist in the 200m and having run 20.95, he has untapped potential. He’s really young, just turned 17 years old, and he’ll join us next August.”
Maketa’s imminent move to TCU comes on the back of an impressive maiden season by his former schoolmate Mapaya, who earned First-Team All-America Honours after finishing fifth in the triple jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Eugene, Oregon, in June.
Matiyenga, a former Prince Edward School student, who specialises in the 100m and 200m races, also earned Second-Team All-America honours as part of the TCU 4x100m relay team.