Udaya, Conyers Star on the Track
Udaya, Conyers Star on the Track

by Dave Cranshaw
UNH Today Editor

Like many athletes, Ada Udaya ’14, a sprinter and hurdler on the UNH track and field team, has a pregame ritual. After eating a pregame snack and going through her warm up, she settles into the starting block, nods her head and gives herself one last motivational pep talk.

“I tell myself that I know that I practiced tons of times and that I am ready to win,” said Udaya.

Throughout her distinguished career, she has done just that, proving to be one of the most accomplished track and field athletes in program history.

Ada Udaya ’14

Earlier this month at the Shamrock Invitational – the first meet of the outdoor season – she competed against Division I athletes, including those from the Southeastern Conference. She won the 200-meter dash and set a program record. She also won the 100-meter dash in helping the team to a seventh-place finish out of 38 teams and the highest finish by a Division II program.

A week earlier at the NCAA Indoor Championships, she finished second in the 60-meter dash – less than one-tenth of a second out of first place – and finished fifth in the 200-meter dash. Both performances were good enough to earn All-America honors, the seventh and eighth All-America honors in her career.

Her success is made even more impressive considering that she missed the entire season two years ago recovering from painful stress fractures in her feet and legs.

“At that point in my life, it would have been pretty easy to stop after continuous attempts at coming back, but I stuck it through,” said Udaya. “Something kept telling me that I wasn't done yet.”

Udaya teamed up with Briana Conyers ’15, who finished third in the triple jump at the Indoor Championships, to lead UNH to an 11th place finish out of more than 50 teams.

“Coaching these talented young ladies is an experience,” said Kevin LaSure, assistant coach for sprints, hurdles and relays. “As a coach, you enjoy watching their development and anticipate the day when they reach their full potential and all of their hard works pays off.”

Conyers has also continued her success in the outdoor season, placing fifth in the triple jump at the Shamrock Invitational and being part of the 4x100 relay team that finished sixth.
“My involvement in athletics has taught me the value of hard work,” said Conyers. “Seeing improved marks and competing at the national level has been the greatest factor in contributing to my belief that anything is possible.”

Shaunnaya Williams, head coach of the team, lauded Udaya and Conyers for serving as role models for their teammates.  “Briana and Ada both bring a positive and competitive attitude to the team and have helped elevate the program to a new level,” she said.

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