KENT, Ohio ( WJW)- As the Tokyo Olympics get set to kick off this Friday, one Northeast Ohio girl is getting ready to represent Cleveland at the Junior Olympics in Texas later this month.
Kaidyn Harris, 13, loves to run.
“When I was younger, my grandma would see me run and she said to my mom that she needs to be in track, so I started when I was nine,” Harris said.
Soon, Harris will be running to represent Northeast Ohio at the Junior Olympics in Houston, Texas.
“It’s fun, but I can’t wait until I see the field and see who I can beat,” Harris said.
She will compete in the 100, 200 and long-jump, representing the Portage Track and Field club.
“On the national level, there are a lot of talented athletes and Kaidyn’s age group is one of the thickest as far as competitors. Right now, going into the Junior Olympics or AAU nationals, she is sitting right in the middle of the pack,” said Kevin Howard, Harris’s coach.
Harris has been training all summer long for these games. She’s hoping for at least a top 16 finish.
“I’ve been running every day, twice a day, nonstop. Running half a mile in the morning and then in the afternoon, I come to practice and work on my speed, make sure I get faster and do better,” she said.
Harris has been motivated by her godmother, who was a track runner growing up, and Sha’Carri Richardson, one of America’s fastest women.
“Sha’Carri Richardson, she chases after her dreams,” Harris said.
Now, Harris is set to chase after her dreams in Houston.
“Just wait until I get to Texas,” she said.
The Junior Olympics will be held from July 28 through August 7th. The Junior Olympics is the largest national multi-sport event for youth in the United States.