West Valley track club Arizona Rising Sun sent 21 athletes to Houston for the USATF National Junior Olympic Championships. The team had 12 of its members named All-American over the course of the competition July 21-27.

Sabestine Onyepunuka, head coach and Avondale resident, said the team competed well in both individual and relay events.

“We had many kids do very well,” Onyepunuka said. “We took 21 kids to Houston and I think only four came back without any kind of medal. Some came back with two, some came back with three.”

To compete in nationals, runners had to be at least 6 years old and must turn 7 by Dec. 31. Arizona Rising Sun athletes ranged from 7 to 14 at the competition. Two high school athletes on the team ended up not making the trek to Houston.

Stacey Onyepunuka, Onyepunuka’s daughter, set a national record for the 8-and-under age group for the 100 meters at 14.05 seconds. She also ran another 100 meters in 14.25, and finished first in the 200 with a time of 29.51.

Dominique Mustin finished second in the pentathlon with 2,911 points in the 11-12 age group. She was also a part of the 4x400 relay, with Riley Roberts, Selema Ortiz and Lazia Burks, that finished fourth.

Drianna Mustin finished sixth in the heptathlon for the 15-16 age group. She also finished fourth in the 800 meters.

For the boys division, Darius Alberty finished eighth in the javelin throw with a distance of 20.96 meters. Brian Fair finished fourth in the 9-10-year-old 400 meters at 1 minute, 1.69 seconds.

Nigel Ruffin finished eighth in the 11-12-year-old 100 meters with a time of 12.76 seconds.

Jonah Guevara, also in the 11-12-year-old division, finished seventh in the 400 meters with a time of 57.51.

The boys fielded a relay team that competed in both the 4x100 and 4x400. Guevara, Ruffin, Jason Adkinson Jr. and Kenji Roland finished third in the 4x100 with a time of 49.49 seconds and fifth in the 4x400 at 4:02.95.

“I felt we did well,” Onyepunuka said. “I thought we might do a little better than they did, but they did well.”

Onyepunuka said Stacy’s performance, where she set the national record, has been a great cap to a great year.

“She didn’t lose any races [this year],” Onyepunuka said. “She set and broke Arizona state records and got to regionals and set the regional record and then got to nationals and got the record there.”

Arizona Rising Sun practices at Raymond S. Kellis High School in Glendale.

Shane McOwen can be reached by email at smcowen@westvalleyview.com.