Track & Field: Freshman Onyenwere makes fast transition from hoops to the track

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Grandview Invitational Track Meet 4.19.14
Grandview freshman Michaela Onyenwere nears the finish line as the anchor leg of the girls 4×400 meter relay at the Grandview Invitational track meet on April 19, 2014, at Legacy Stadium. Onyenwere helped the Wolves set the school record in the event at cap a day in which she recorded the top time in Colorado in the 200 meters. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Michaela Onyenwere finds playing an entire basketball game less tiring than running 400 meters.

The Grandview freshman did the latter for the good of her team on April 19, running the anchor leg of the 4×400 meter relay in its quest for the school record at Grandview Invitational.

As with seemingly everything Onyenwere’s done this year, it went well. Even with a look back to survey her closest pursuer, she finished the race — her first 400, widely considered the sport’s most grueling event — to secure the school mark by four seconds.

“The 400 killed me, but it was fun overall and we got the school record,” said Onyenwere, who immediately took a seat after she crossed the finish line.

“I found that out when I was dying at the end,” she added.

The relay just capped a phenomenal day for Onyenwere, who  is coming off an All-Colorado season on the basketball floor.

Earlier in the day, she clocked a time of 24.46 seconds in the 200 meters, taking over the top spot in Colorado in the event so far this season. She bested the 24.65 set by Lewis-Palmer’s Nicole Montgomery a week earlier and had the state’s top time in the 100 meters (11.83) briefly before Cherokee Trail’s Shayna Yon dropped an 11.80 later in the day at Fountain-Fort Carson.

Onyenwere’s intricate race strategy was “run fast” and she executed it quite well on the new track surface at Legacy Stadium. She said expects to run more 400s in the weeks leading up to state, which should help all her events.

From what she’s seen so far, Grandview coach Allyson Robbins is thrilled with the state point potential of her team with Onyenwere leading the way along with hurdles standout Karlie Cumber and several others.

The Wolves finished second in the team standings — 13 points behind Rocky Mountain — doing it without standout sprinter Lettia Wilson and distance star Erin Norton, who was recently diagnosed with a stress fracture that’s likely to keep her out of the 5A state meet May 15-17.

The Grandview boys also had a huge meet and racked up 142.5 points to win by 67 over runner-up Arapahoe.

A good test comes for both Grandview teams on April 25-26 when they compete in the annual Liberty Bell Invitational at Littleton Public Schools Stadium.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel