Clovis News: Sports

Clovis High's Prandini sets section track record for gold

The start, stride and arm action were flawless.

Then Clovis High's Jenna Prandini sailed past the finish line at Buchanan High's Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, waited a few moments, saw her 100-meter dash time of 11.46 seconds displayed in bright red digital numbers on the east-end scoreboard, turned around and was informed by meet director Brian Weaver, "Jen, it's legal."

On a day several events in the Central Section Grand Masters Track and Field Championships were wind-aided (2.1 mph or greater), Prandini, grasping her head with both hands, at that point had officially become the fastest sprinter in section history.

And, understand, history and the Cougars junior are becoming very good companions.

A year after becoming only the second athlete in the 93-year history of the section championships to win four gold medals, the Clovis junior repeated the feat Saturday, also capturing the 200 (24.17), long (18-111/2) and triple (40-21/2) jumps.

Adding one she won as a freshman, Prandini -- with nine career golds -- passed South's Constance Ward (eight, 1976-79) as the winningest athlete in section annals.

"I'm working hard and it's paying off, it's just really exciting," she said. "My coaches have done a good job getting me ready, and I was ready for this meet."

Regarding the 100 time, which blew away the section's previous standard of 11.69 by Centennial's Tiffaney Bennett in 2000, Prandini, who arrived with a best of 11.73, said: "I knew I could go faster, but I didn't think that much faster. I got a good start, and that's what happened."

Prandini said she expects to drop the 200 and concentrate on the other three in the CIF State Championships at this same site June 4-5.

The top three finishers in each event Saturday qualified for the state.

And the Central Section will be well represented after the finals that balanced excellence far beyond Prandini with the most miserable conditions veteran observers have seen in the meet.

By the time it finished, about 9 p.m., temperatures had plunged to 56 with the wind chill in the upper 40s because of gusts up to 30 mph.

But most of the better performances were delivered in conditions that were only challenging, not horrible.

– Clovis West, with 102 points, ran away with the girls team title behind junior Alyssa Monteverde, who won the 100 high hurdles (14.11) with the second-fastest time in section history, the 300 low hurdles (42.55) and the high jump (5-3). And she contributed a blistering third leg on the Golden Eagles' second-place 400 relay.

"I wasn't expecting the 100 [hurdles] time, but I'm pleased with it," she said. "I was pushing hard for the section record in the 300 [42.39, Stockdale's Tiffany Brown, 2001], but it's all right."

In what is believed to be unprecedented in section history, twins placed 1-2 in an event as Anginae Monteverde took the silver in the 100 hurdles (15.11). And she also tied Buchanan's Holly Waseloff for first in the pole vault (11-9).

– Buchanan's boys edged Redwood 741/2-70 for the boys' crown as Sean Johnson won the 110 high hurdles in a wind-aided 13.85 -- fourth in the state this season for all conditions -- and also the 300 intermediate hurdles in a section second-best ever 37.53.

Redwood, as it turned out, was denied its first track and field team title in school history on the first boys event of the day, the 400 relay.

It was then that leadoff runner Idarre Coles lost control of the baton coming out of the blocks, dropped it, picked it up and took off late in a race the Rangers finished 14th at 45.37. They arrived with a section fourth-best 42.46, and a fourth-place finish Saturday would have been worth five points -- just the difference needed for the championship.

Still, it was an impressive day for Redwood as Justin Vilhauer (4:18.82) repelled a charging Heath Reedy (4:19.03) of Buchanan to win the 1,600 before running 9:20.90 to finish second in the 3,200 to Reedy, a senior who ran 9:15.12.

– Exeter's Melissa Leyva won the 400 in 56.14 -- No. 6 all-time in the section.

– Clovis East's Willy Irwin won the discus at 199-9 -- sixth all-time in the section.

– Bullard's Lyndsie Etherton scored an 18-second rout in the 3200, clocking 10:48.77 for the eighth-best time in section history. And while she is about to close her long-distance career, the Knights have launched another one brilliantly in freshman Ali Teliha, who registered a convincing victory in the 1,600 (5:00.24).

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