Clovis News: Sports

Clovis High track star Prandini chooses Oregon

Jenna Prandini, an ordinary girl with extraordinary track and field skills, did some baby-sitting this weekend while also making the most important decision of her student-athlete career -- she's going to Oregon for college.

"She's a pretty normal kid," Carlo Prandini said after his daughter from Clovis High chose the Ducks over Stanford and USC.

A national courting class for the 5-foot-9 senior All-American also included 2010 NCAA champion Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Miami.

But Prandini, an honor student with two gold medals (long and triple jumps) and a silver (100 meters) in last season's state meet, was hooked on Oregon two weeks ago after visiting the campus at Eugene -- also known as Track Town, USA.

"I liked everything about it," she said. "It was definitely the hardest decision I ever had to make. All the options were so awesome, I knew I really couldn't go wrong.

"But they are 'Track Town, USA.' That town is all about track, and there are huge turnouts for meets. That's exciting, going to a college that has such huge support for track. I love the team and they have a great [women's] coach in [Robert Johnson]. He'll make me the best I can be over there."

Johnson has a lot to work with in Prandini, who, in early June at Buchanan's Veterans Memorial Stadium, delivered one of the most impressive performances in the 37-year history of the CIF State Championships -- winning the long (20-53/4) and triple (42-71/4) jumps and placing second in the 100 (11.42).

She led the nation in versatility.

In Track & Field News' final high school girls national indoor and outdoor marks for 2010 -- discounting wind-aided marks -- Prandini finished No. 3 in the 100 (11.34) and triple jump (41-91/4), sixth in the long jump (20-2) and 22nd in the 200 (23.97). Her wind-aided marks of 42-71/4 and 20-73/4 in the triple and long jumps ranked 1-2 nationally.

It's the general consensus of track and field experts that the horizontal jumps -- specifically, the triple jump -- will be Prandini's specialty, long range.

But at Oregon, which placed second to Texas A&M in the NCAA finals last spring, she won't arrive with restrictions.

"I'll be a jumper and sprinter and run on relays, too," she said. "They'll let me do it all and if they see I get going really good in one, I might focus more on one. Right now, I'm going in wide open."