World Athletics

Udodi Onwuzurike, NCAA 200m Champion And Stanford Record-Holder, Goes Pro

Udodi Onwuzurike, NCAA 200m Champion And Stanford Record-Holder, Goes Pro

The Michigan native will leave Stanford as its all-time most accomplished sprinter.

Nov 6, 2023 by Cory Mull
Udodi Onwuzurike, NCAA 200m Champion And Stanford Record-Holder, Goes Pro

Udodi Onwuzurike's decision to attend Stanford in 2021 seemed a bit curious at the time. 

While the Palo Alto school was one of the country's elite universities, it wasn't exactly known as a developer of the NCAA's top sprint recruits. 

And Onwuzurike won a World U20 200 meter title for Nigeria just weeks before he first enrolled at Stanford. 

But Onwuzurike, who left the state of Michigan as one of its all-time best high school sprinters, certainly made the most of his time with the Cardinal, scorching the track en route to school records in the 60m, 100m, 200i and 200m. In June, he won the NCAA Championship he coveted in the 200m, posting a personal record time of 19.76 (+0.6). 

On Monday, he announced his decision to leave the program and turn pro. 

"I will be forgoing the remaining two years of my collegiate eligibility and will be turning professional," he wrote on Instagram. "My lifelong dream has come true, bringing both excitement and reflection with this fresh opportunity. Thank you, Stanford, for everything. This is not goodbye, but a new beginning. 

Onwuzurike entered Stanford with sky-high expectations and met them, earning school records in the 100m (9.92) and 200m (19.76), while also posting school bests in the 60 (6.59) and 200i (20.17).

In 2021, Stanford had nabbed a giant coup. Onwuzurike was the first individual World U20 champion to ever grace the Cardinal's sprint corps and he was only the second gold medalist since Olivia Baker (2014) to join the team. 

The signing was right on the money. Onwuzurike finished his career with six 100m times under 10.10, including two wind-legal marks under 10 seconds. He also broke the 20-second mark three times in the 200m, all of them coming between May and June of 2023.

He won a Pac-12 title in the 200m in May, along with various All-American honors. 

Onwuzurike has not announced his agency or sponsor just yet. 

"To the entire Stanford coaching staff, thank you for affording me the opportunity to compete here at Stanford. Your unwavering belief in me and the guidance you provided have been instrumental in my journey here at Stanford. I am forever grateful for your invaluable contributions to my growth as an athlete and as an individual. 

"To my teammates, thank you for making this chapter of my life so memorable and enjoyable. The memories we've created together will always have a special spot in my heart."