Gianna Taylor, 12, of Fort Dick was back on the track over the weekend, competing in a final tuneup race before kicking off her run in the USA Track & Field Junior Olympics later in June.
Taylor ran the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash and the long jump in the 13-14 age group at the Tigard Youth Track Developmental Meet at Tigard High School in Oregon on Saturday and came away with a pair of second place finishes in the 100 (13.03 seconds) and 200 (27.65), while tying for sixth place in the long jump (14-02).
“She actually beat some girls that she has never beaten before,” said Wes Taylor, Gianna’s father. “It was a really star-studded cast that was there, especially in the 100. It was almost like being in the state finals with the girls that she ran against. There is maybe one girl that wasn’t there that would be added in, but most of the top girls were there.”
Wes Taylor said Gianna will likely see most of the same competition at the USATF Oregon Association Junior Olympic Championships June 21-24 a Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. The top eight placers in each age group and event will qualify to move on to the USATF Region 13 Junior Olympic Championships July 5–7 with a chance to advance to the national event July 25–30 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In 2017, Taylor took third place in the 100 and second place in the 200 at the state meet and went on to place fifth and sixth in the 100 and 200 respectively at the Region 13 Championships. Taylor was competing in the 11–12 year old division last year, but with her 13th birthday coming up on June 24 she has to move up to the 13–14 division, where she will be one of the youngest competitors of the age group.