By Paul Meadors
Jenna Prandini wins NCAA 100 title, places second in long jump and 200
Clovis’ favorite daughter and TRAC superstar Jenna Prandini can add another landmark achievement to her long list of accomplishments in track and field – NCAA 100-meter dash national champion. The junior track star from the University of Oregon ran a blistering 10.96, barely beating Texas’ Morolake Akinosun’s 10.97 at the finish.
Prandini, who starred at Clovis High winning five golds in the 2012 CIF State Track and Field meet, also placed second in the 200 with a personal best of 22.21 and was second in the long jump at 22 feet 3 ¾ inches, also a personal best in helping lead the Ducks to their first NCAA outdoor championship title in 30 years.
“It’s incredible. I don’t know how to explain it. I’m so proud of my team and how far we’ve come,” said Prandini after the event.
Competing on her home track was a bonus and she felt the love and support not only from the fans but her family. Up to 30 family members were spotted cheering her on and sporting “Go Jenna Go!” t-shirts.
“The crowd was going nuts, my family was all here and I couldn’t have asked for a better day,” said Prandini still pacing in front of the media as if another race was about to begin. “To come out and win the 100 has always been one of my dreams. It’s pretty awesome.”
And the fun isn’t stopping there. On June 20, Prandini was named the Honda Sports Award winner for track and field on Monday, making her a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year presented later this month in Los Angeles during a live, nationally televised broadcast on CBS Sports Network at 6 p.m.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports.
DeChambeau wins NCAA golf championship in style
While on the West Coast Prandini was tearing up the track, a Clovis East grad Bryson DeChambeau was having himself quite a weekend on the other side of the country.
The Southern Methodist University golfer won the individual NCAA golf championship at The Concession Gold Course in Bradenton, Florida beating the field by two strokes with an 8-under par for the tournament.
“I always felt like I could contend for a national championship, but I never believed in myself that I could,” DeChambeau told the associated press. “From this year to last year, it was about trusting myself and my game. That allowed me to get here.”
In true DeChambeau style, his most lasting shot of the tournament wasn’t a hole-in-one or a double Eagle – it’s the image of his shirtless shot from the shallows on No. 13 during the first round Friday.
He shot a 2-under on the first day and rocketed into first place with a 5-under second round. After shooting an even 72 on Sunday to sustain the lead, he closed out the NCAA Championships with a minus-2 finale to close out the title. He joins Buchanan grad Kevin Chappel of UCLA who won the title in 2008. Perhaps in 2022 another TRAC golfer will emerge and complete the every-7-year-TRACfecta.
Buchanan soccer grad Guajardo reaches women’s World Cup for Mexico
The TRAC can proudly claim another former star, this time on the international stage. Former Buchanan soccer standout Anisa Guajardo was a late addition due to an injury to the Mexican national team just before its participation in the 2015 World Cup in Canada.
Unfortunately, Mexico was bounced early from the competition in their pool play on June 16, losing to France 5-0 and finishing their pool 0-3. But for Guajardo her pursuit of playing for Team Mexico was fulfilled.
After a stellar career at Buchanan where she won four straight Division 1 Valley championships and numerous honors and awards she earned a scholarship to Pepperdine University, one of the most breathtaking campuses on the West Coast. After leaving Pepperdine as the fourth leading scorer in school history (27) she kept her dream alive by playing in various professional leagues and on Olympic qualifying teams.
She was first called up by the Mexican National team in 2011 to compete against France and played stints for the Mexican U-20 and U-17 squads. Guajardo competed in the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament, highlighted by scoring a hat trick against the Dominican Republic.
Despite not seeing any action on the field during the three games, Guajardo, still only 24 years old, accomplished a goal one could only dream of while playing on the soccer fields of Buchanan High – representing her county in the ultimate of soccer competition – The World Cup.