Rare is the day a powerful track and field team is assembled without both sprinters speed and relay scoring.
But Clovis West High's girls, after plowing through the North Area Division on Wednesday at Clovis East, have done just that while blueprinting a second straight runaway Central Section team title.
"It's uncanny, not a common thing," said Golden Eagles coach Martin Palavicini, whose team guaranteed but one qualifier out of the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes in the area meet. That was a fourth place in the 400 in a meet that advanced at least the top four finishers in each event for the section Masters Championships May 21 at Buchanan.
The Masters will have 18 qualifiers in each event – four each from the North, Central and South area meets, three from the Sierra-Sequoia Championships and three at-large entrants as culled from all of the meets.
A year after blowing away the section girls field by 45 points for the team title, Clovis West, led by two sets of sisters – senior twins Alyssa and Anginae Monteverde, and senior Nonny Okwelogu and sophomore Nikki Okwelogu – had 17 top-four placers at Clovis East.
That featured gold medalists Alyssa Monteverde in the 100 (wind-aided 14.16 seconds) and 300 (43.81) hurdles and high jump (5-2), Anginae Monteverde in the pole vault (12-9), Nikki Okwelogu in the shot put (40-5) and Nonny Okwelogu in the discus (138-11).
"We are not very fast or talented out of the gate so we work on technical events to be competitive," said Palavicini, whose girls team is ranked third nationally by Niketracknationals.com.
- Clovis All-American Jenna Prandini qualified in the four events she won in last year's section finals. She won the 100 in a state second-best 11.79, the 200 in 23.95 – No. 2 in the state this season and second only to Clovis West's Megan DelPino (23.94, 2008) in section history – the triple jump in 38-01/4 and placed second to Edison's Je'Nia Sears (18-8) in the triple jump at 18-5.