Becky Obinma isn’t even halfway through her high school career and she’s already one of the most decorated athletes ever to walk the halls at Rosary.
The 6’2” sophomore scored 40 points in a basketball game last winter to break the school record and has already set two more marks in track and field this spring. She won the 100-meter dash in 12.23 seconds during a dual meet against Mater Dei on March 17, then finished second in the 200 in 25.68, breaking another school record.
“We’re so lucky,” said Rosary track coach Jen Murphy. “I can’t tell you how lucky we are.”
The Royals are fortunate because Obinma didn’t attend Rosary as a freshman. She was at Villa Park, where she won a North Hills League title in the 100 and 200—a rare feat for any freshman—and later advanced to the CIF-SS Division II finals in both events.
A more challenging academic environment and a chance to take Rosary to another level in basketball and track motivated Obinma to transfer and she couldn’t be happier with the decision. While basketball will likely be the sport that opens the door to an athletic scholarship, Obinma has a special place in her heart for track and field.
“I like coming out here and meeting new friends to run with,” she said.
Mater Dei and Santa Margarita have traditionally dominated the sprint events in the Trinity League. Sure enough, the two schools combined to take the top six spots in the 100 during the league finals last season.
Mater Dei teammates Sarah Perez and Haley Hopkins, who finished second and third in the 100 during league finals last season, are the league’s top two returners in the event, but Obinma served notice that she’s the runner to beat after winning the event in the dual meet against Mater Dei last month.
Murphy said Obinma’s performance caught Mater Dei off guard.
“It’s cool to surprise Mater Dei,” Murphy said. “If you can surprise Mater Dei, you know you’re doing something right because they’re really good.”
Kelli Godin of Mater Dei might be Obinma’s biggest challenge for a league title in the 100 this season, as the fellow sophomore ran a 12.35 earlier this season at the Eagle Invitational. Godin is also the starting third baseman for Mater Dei’s talent-filled softball team, so her running schedule might be limited until the postseason. Godin is the sister of Curtis Godin, who won a state title in the boys’ 100 for the Monarchs two years ago.
Obinma’s competition in the 200 appears even deeper.
Santa Margarita junior Lauren Drysch won the league title last season and went on to finish fifth in the Division III finals in a personal best 24.62. Godin also posted a 25.31 at the Eagle Invitational this season, and Perez has defeated both Obinma and Drysch in head-to-head meetings.
Obinma is primarily focused on the 100, however, and hopes to finish a race in under 12 seconds by the end of the season. Murphy believes she knows how to get her there.
“We’re working on getting her out of the blocks quicker,” Murphy said. “Once we can get her real fast out of the blocks, then her times will come down even more.”
And so will the school records.