Loyola’s Ilhame Tamrouti threw her last javelin as a junior June 11 at the NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championship in Eugene, Oregon. Making Loyola history, Tamrouti placed 23rd (155-01; 47.27 m), the highest rank ever achieved by a Loyola female track and field athlete in the outdoor national meet.
The Kampen, Netherlands native became the second female athlete in program history to ever reach the outdoor championship. Alison Szykowny was the first in 2015, placing 24th in the competition as a discus thrower.
Despite her historical debut, Tamrouti said she was grateful for the experience, but not fully content with her performance at Eugene.
“Forty-seven meters is three meters under my average,” Tamrouti commented. “If I would have thrown 50 meters and kind of gave it all, and then have placed 23rd, I would be more content with the result and the outcome.”
Regardless of Tamrouti’s self-critique of her performance at Eugene, her 2021 season was one for the books. Even after a complicated and unusual season for athletes across all sports, Tamrouti claims to have adapted and capitalized off the pandemic constraints.
“I put a lot of time into training and execution, and really took it as a great opportunity to get better,” Tamrouti said. “Normally, you would have different distractions going on and what not, but everything was so isolated that I could just train and do my school.”
Her opportunity to better focus on her training showed. Tamrouti’s 2021 season was rich in accomplishments. She won her second consecutive Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) title where she re-set her school record to 166-06 (50.74m), qualified for her first NCAA championship and finished as an Honorable Mention All-American.
“I couldn’t be prouder of Ilhame’s growth, leadership on the team, and how she represents the program,” Loyola Track and Field Head Coach Bob Thurnhoffer said. “She’s the definition of always finding a way to get better and making the best of any circumstance. I’m excited to see what the future holds for her.”
Currently attempting to qualify for the European Under-23 Championship, Tamrouti is expected to return to Loyola next season as a senior in pursuit of another successful season.