Clovis News: Sports

Clovis West track and field star anxious for Masters event

For all the great female throwers in Central Section track and field recently (the section has swept the shot put and discus in the past three CIF State Championships) there hasn't been a story to rival Nonny Okwelogu.

Here's a Clovis West senior -- daughter of highly educated Nigerian immigrants, headed to Princeton of the Ivy League herself -- who can't sit still.

"I'm more excited in life when I have more things to do, even if more is too many and I'm running out of hours," says Okwelogu, ranked fifth in the state in the discus (153-11) and 11th in the shot put (42-1) entering Saturday's Central Section Grand Masters Championships at Buchanan's Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Carrying a weighted grade-point average of 4.4 and competing in track and field doesn't remotely come close to filling the calendar for the person who's real first name is Chukwunonso.


  • Vice president of the school's African-American Student Union.
  • President and founder of the school's Harry Potter Alliance.
  • President of the Environmental Club.
  • Associate editor of the school's literary magazine, The Torch.

"When I'm not doing things, I feel worse than when I'm doing too many things," she says.

It may be wise to keep the pace in order to stay warm in Princeton, N.J.

"One of the many adjustments I'll have to make in college life, for sure," she says.

Clovis West coach Martin Palavicini finds nothing beyond the reach of the student-athlete whose mother, Agnes Akabogu, is an attorney and whose father, Bernard Okwelogu, is a pharmacist.

"She comes from a family of high standards," the coach says. "They are very focused and goal-oriented.

"Nonny's a great young lady with a bright future. Whatever she decides to focus on, she'll be great, no doubt."

Okwelogu and sophomore sister Nikki are both expected to score heavily in the shot and discus for a Clovis West team favored to repeat a dominant team title today.

The Golden Eagles, ranked third nationally, feature Alyssa Monteverde, who leads the section in the 100 and 300 hurdles, and twin sister Anginae, who's first in the pole vault and second in the 100 hurdles.

Alyssa Monteverde has already won seven Masters golds -- third in section history.

First in section annals with nine Masters golds is Clovis' Jenna Prandini, who's favored to successfully defend her titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, long jump and triple jump.

She's state-ranked in all four events despite returning two weeks ago after rehabilitating a hamstring injury.

Buchanan's boys are also expected to repeat their team title behind Chris Brusenback, who's ranked first in the section in the 200, second in the 100 and is a member of the team's top-seeded 400 and 1,600 relays.

The Bears balance that speed with long-distance ownership behind Kevin Barnard, C.J. Albertson, Cody Brazeal and Josh Orsoco.