Kelechi Ndu is always striving to improve, constantly re-examining his form in the dashes. It's this dedication that has served him well in track, especially this season.
Ndu, who will be a senior next fall at E.O. Smith-Storrs, is coming off his best season in track. He won the 100 and 200 in the CIAC Class L and State Open and won the 100 in the New England Track and Field Championship in Plymouth, Mass.
But Ndu wasn't finished. He traveled to Raleigh, N.C., where he finished eighth in the 100 in the Adidas Scholastic Track and Field Championship. So it's easy to see why he was selected The Courant's Best of the Best in boys track.
His experience in the Adidas meet in North Carolina was an eye-opener, he said. He finished with a personal best of 10.85 seconds. His previous best was 10.89 in the New England meet.
The winning time in the Adidas meet was 10.39.
"I learned I have to work a little harder so hopefully I can do better at the national level," Ndu said. "I just wanted to go there for the experience and see how I'd do. I didn't think I'd take the whole thing."
Ndu had plenty of competition in the dashes in the state this season. Bloomfield's Kenneth Walker pushed him in the dashes, but it helped Ndu. It was something he was accustomed to, considering he ran against the likes of nationally ranked Glenn McFadden of Hillhouse-New Haven last year.
Last year he won 100 and 200 in Class L and in the Open finished second to McFadden in the 100 and third in the 200, behind McFadden and Walker. McFadden graduated last year, but Walker was still around to hound him this season.
"After last season I continued to work on my form," Ndu said. "I also tried to improve my starts, which I haven't done as much as I had hoped. When I raced Walker in the State Open this year, he led the first 50 meters in the 100. I had to put in an extra kick to catch up to him."
Ndu won the 100 in 10.97 seconds. He later won the 200 in 22.12 and again Walker was second.
Ndu has consistently lowered his times. The week before in the Class L meet, he won the 100 in 11.03 and the 200 in 22.44.
Ndu, the youngest of three brothers, began running seriously when he was about 11, he said. Ndu was born in Nigeria and moved to South Africa, where he began running in national competitions.
He then moved to England, before coming to this country in 1999 when his mother got a teaching job at Eastern Connecticut State University, he said.
He has learned to adjust to his different situations.
"The hardest part was getting used to the new schools," Ndu said. "Learning the do's and don'ts and getting new friends."
When he isn't running, Ndu enjoys playing soccer with his friends. As for training over the summer, he has a simple but surefire plan.
"I'm going to run a lot more and try to stay as active as possible," Ndu said.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times