WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita girl has become the fastest 9-year-old in the country.
Juliah Bolden won the 100- and 200-meter national championships in the 9-year-old division last month at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, the Wichita Eagle reported. Juliah broke the national record in both races the year before in the 8-and-under division.
“She’s building herself a nice, little dynasty right now,” said Jimmy Bolden, her father. “Now when she steps on the track, they know know who Juliah is.”
Juliah comes from a family of athletes. Her father led Wichita State basketball during the 1992-93 season. Her sister, Jewell, won seven Kansas high school state championships in track and field. And her mother, Shirley Bolden, was a three-time All-Big Ten sprinter at Michigan State and Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1989.
“Juliah is following right in the footsteps,” Jimmy Bolden said.
Juliah’s biggest advantage as a competitor right now is her strength, but as she grows older that advantage will diminish. So she’s training to prepare.
“Right now we don’t really focus on the sprinting,” Shirley Bolden said. “We’re focused more on the technique, having her form right. We know she’s not going to be able to go to the next level if she doesn’t run correctly.”
Juliah never runs longer than two minutes and she’s focusing on improving her start out of the blocks.
“I’m just trying to make sure I keep my knees high and push my hips,” Juliah said.
Shirley Bolden said like a typical fourth-grader, Juliah has a short attention span. She said Juliah enjoys the meets, but not practice.
“I truly believe she can achieve anything she sets her mind to,” Jimmy Bolden said. “We’re going to be proud of her, no matter what she decides to do.”
Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com