- Aug 28, 2003
It took less than a minute for Nebraska native Jaiya Patillo to run the 400-meter race in her first indoor track meet of 2022. Patillo ran 400 meters countless times before, but this race was special. This was her first race against college-aged competition and she is only in the 7th grade!
Jaiya Patillo started her track career at the age of seven. She quickly found that she was built for the sport after she reached nationals in her first season. Since then she has racked up some serious hardware, reaching the Junior Olympics nine times. In 2019, she was named the Nebraska Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
Patillo says that, despite her success on the track, competitors often don’t take her very seriously because of her age.
“I think people underestimate me because I am younger… but I try to prove them wrong. Almost ninety percent of the time I end up winning so my actions speak louder than my words” she told Zoomin TV.