SWR's Ryan Udvadia is running away from the competition
Shoreham-Wading River's Ryan Udvadia has no interest in being the unknown runner.
"I want my opponents to know who I am," he said.
Odds are, he's got nothing to worry about. With a record like his, it would be hard for anyone to overlook him. After yesterday's win at the Brown Invitational, Udvadia is 10-0 this season, unbeaten -- and barely challenged -- in any league meet or invitational.
"It puts meaning behind my name," Udvadia said. "It prepares my opponents and lets them know what to expect of me. I want then to know that I'm the real deal and I'm going to really race them and try to win. Staying undefeated toughens me up."
The senior's statement win came last Saturday when he placed first in the Varsity A race at the Manhattan Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. He completed the 2.5-mile run in 12 minutes, 28 seconds, 6.6 seconds faster then Pearl River's Brian Cook.
"It was a huge win for me," Udvadia said. "The race was the fastest varsity race that day outside of the Eastern States race. Cook was my biggest competition. If there was anyone I was going to lose to, it was going to be him. He led up until the final 400 meters. I was able to sit on him and let him do the work. The final 400 meters was an all-out sprint. It came down to a kick."
And, no matter the season, there are few things more dangerous then the Udvadia kick.
"It's just something that's going to stay with me," Udvadia said of his patented closing sprint.
As gratifying as the Manhattan win was, the race he really wants to win is Tuesday's Suffolk Division championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. Last year, Udvadia finished undefeated in the regular season, but fell to Northport's Mike Brannigan by less than one second at the Division championships.
"That'll be the fastest race you see at Sunken Meadow this year," Udvadia said. "I'm very optimistic about it. The course at Sunken Meadow is a little tougher this year (due to reconstruction done after superstorm Sandy). I've run the new 5K course. Some of my opponents have not run it yet. I'm hoping that will work to my advantage."
Because this is Udvadia's senior season, an added emphasis is placed on the race.
"It's stressful," he said. "Last year, if I didn't do well in a meet, I still had next year. Now, I have one shot. It forces me to race better because I know this is my last shot. There is no next year."