GRANADA DISTANCE & SPRINT FESTIVAL
De La Salle (NC) junior Chukwunonso Udeh (fourth from right) is pictured winning the 100-meter dash, one of his three marquee-event wins on Saturday at the Granada Distance & Sprint Festival. (Jennifer Koziel photo)
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LIVERMORE -- Chukwunonso Udeh may be someone to watch in May. The De La Salle High School junior is starting to put up some marks that just might make some noise in the North Coast Section championships.
Udeh set three personal bests, winning the fast heats in three of the marquee sprint races at the Granada Distance & Sprint Festival on Saturday at Granada High School.
First, Udeh won the boys 100 meters in 11.05. That would rank 12th in the NCS based on the marks coming into the weekend. He then took the 110 hurdles in 15.85, which would keep him sixth in the NCS. Then, as if that wasn't enough, he won the 200 in 22.49, which would rank seventh in the NCS.
Oh, and they didn't hold a high jump competition at the meet, but he has cleared 6 feet, 2 inches, and came into the weekend tied for second in the NCS. And he has run a 41.90 in the 300 hurdles (10th in NCS).
"I'm not really a 100 runner," Udeh said after winning the 100, adding that he thinks of himself as a hurdler.
"Going into the (100) I was just trying to PR," he said. "I surprised myself. I'm working on getting out strong and then getting to my top speed. Make sure my drive phase is alright. I saw that I got out at the end and I was just cruising. A really good race, pretty proud, hoping I can go even lower than that, hit the 10s by the end of the season."
BOYS 200m FINAL
Udeh said he hasn't seen his best results yet but that the season has been OK for him. The Spartans have traveled to Long Beach as well as the Arcadia Invitational.
So what would qualify as best results? Udeh said he'd like to go "15 lows" in the high hurdles, "42 lows" with the 400 relay team, and sub-40 in the 300 hurdles.
"And then for high jump, hopefully, I'll get up to 6-4, 6-6," he said.
The day started with rain for the distance portion of the meet, but by the afternoon for the sprint events, the sun was out with hardly a cloud in the sky. The meet, largest yet in its brief four-year history, expanded the spring portion adding the 200m dash, of which there were 58 heats between girls and boys. Only the shot put and discus were held of the field events.
Monte Vista (NC) junior Ashley Rosati swept the girls weights. She won the shot put at 35-11 ½ and the discus at 109-5.
Piner (NC) junior Jared Hayes set a personal-best in the boys 800 at 1:58.07. Hayes was at the back of the lead pack for most of the race but made his move with about 200 to go and took the lead for good on the home stretch.
"I don't know what to say," Hayes said. "I went out super-hard and just stayed with the top pack. At the 200 I realized I have a ton left, I've just got to send it! I came in and gave it everything I had. I left everything on the track."
Dublin (NC) senior Sharvin Manjrekar won the 3,200 in a PR of 9:21.94.
Granada junior Dheeraj Gurusamy set a meet record in the 1,600 in 4:15.76 in a race where the top three went under the 2021 standard of 4:19.32 set by De La Salle's Patrick Curulla. College Park junior Alex Lamoureux was second in 4:17.59 and Granada sophomore Eshaan Singh was third in 4:18.08.
Pogue's win came against a familiar foe, Granada senior Elizabeth Melcher (pictured). The two battled throughout before Pogue took over late. Melcher was second in 5:09.15. Holman's win came only a couple of moments after senior teammate Jenna Satovsky won her 800m race.
Foothill (NC) senior Torre Anderson won the 100 in 12.70 and ran on the meet record-setting 4x100-meter relay team. The lineup of seniors Marina Garcia, Anderson, Emma Lim, and Makenna Meyers-McNerney got the baton around in 48.81, breaking the 2021 record of 48.88 set by a Foothill lineup that included Garcia, Anderson, and Meyers-McNerney.
Alhambra (NC) senior Desie Armstrong placed second in 12.79, then came back to win the 200 in 26.39, establishing a meet standard.
Heritage (NC) senior Guinn Herron won the 100 hurdles in 16.23.
"It was a really fun race," she said. "I really tried to focus on snapping down over the hurdle. And what really separated me I think was the speed in between the hurdles because my snap down is not as efficient as I would like it to be. But I really focused on that speed and that's what got me through the race."
College Park junior Jessica Chisar took the 400.
"I wanted to get out hard," Chisar said. "I knew there were some fast girls in lanes four and five inside of me. I knew I wanted to push the backstretch."
San Ramon Valley's boys 4x100-meter relay team also set a meet record. The lineup of Joshua Johnson, Tanner Salisbury, Justin Fader, and Zach Fernandez was timed in 42.90, breaking the record of 43.05 set by Acalanes in 2019.
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Damin Esper is a Bay Area-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to MileSplit
Photos by Jennifer Koziel
MileSplitCA editor Jeffrey Parenti contributed to this report