The city of Clovis will be represented this summer in one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
Former Clovis High track & field standout Jenna Prandini and ex-Clovis East golfer Bryson DeChambeau will compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. Prandini qualified in the 100 and 200-meter dash at the U.S Olympic Trials, while DeChambeau secured a spot on the four-man U.S. golf team.
Prandini finished second in the 200-meter final at the Trials, recording a personal-best time of 21.89 seconds. It was a Top 10 all-time mark in the 200. Only Gabby Thomas’ Trials-record 21.61, the third-best time ever run in the 200, beat Prandini.
Earlier at the Trials, Prandini ran in the 100-meter final, finishing fourth with a time of 11.11 seconds and falling outside of the qualifying top three runners.
“Fourth place is the worst spot to be in, so after the 100, [the mindset] was kind of just, ‘Reset, refocus,’” Prandini said. “I knew I was getting on this team one way or another.”
Finishing fourth didn’t end Prandini’s hopes of competing in the 100-meter dash in Tokyo.
As the first alternate, Prandini replaced suspended first-place finisher Sha’Carri Richardson in the 100 in Tokyo, following the latter’s 30-day suspension due to testing positive for the banned substance HTC.
For the second straight Olympic Games, Prandini will run the 200, but Tokyo will be her first Games running the 100. The 28-year-old will try to improve upon her performance in Rio five years ago, where she finished 10th in the 200.
This will be the first Olympic Games for DeChambeau, who was one year into his professional career when golf returned to the 2016 Games. The No. 6 golfer in the world and 2020 U.S. Open champion, DeChambeau will represent the Red, White, and Blue alongside three of the world’s top five golfers — No. 3 Justin Thomas, No. 4 Collin Morikawa and No. 5 Xander Schauffele.
Thomas, Morikawa, Schauffele and DeChambeau represent the four highest-ranked Americans eligible for the Olympics. World No. 2 Dustin Johnson announced he was not competing in the Olympics due to a busy golf schedule.
“There was never a thought in my mind — before 2016, obviously — that I thought I was going to be in the Olympics,” DeChambeau told the Associated Press. “I never would have thought that. Playing as good as I have these last few years has afforded me that opportunity.”