Kylie Smith interviews after her AAU Junior Olympic Games 1500m win
At the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Conroe Oak Ridge's KYLIE SMITH accomplished something she had never done before - win a gold medal at a national level competition. Going into the 17-18 yo girls 1500m final, Smith had the fastest time with her 4:53, but that means nothing at the AAU Junior Olympic. The athletes who compete there don't care who you are or where you come from, they all come to compete, fight, and battle until they can't anymore.
Early in the race, Smith was a part of an eleven girl pack at the front of the race. The tempo wasn't really challenging for too many of the girls enabling the girls to pack up. Halfway through the race, Smith changed all of that. With a lap and a half remaining, she moved to the outside and picked up the tempo - then nobody was willing to respond and go with her. She pulled further and further away until she earned herself about a 15m gap on second place. With 200m to go, Smith had a decisive lead that she would not relinquish as she eventually crossed the line in first with a 4:51.30 and an AAU Junior Olympic Games national title.
Although she was a favorite, that didn't ease Smith, "I was really nervous at the beginning." This summer, Smith has put in some big time work that led her to her this championship run. When asked for her favorite quote, she said it was "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." That is exactly what she set out to do this summer, put in the work and see how things panned out.
Smith's week isn't quite done yet, she has the 800m final tomorrow, "I'm going to ice and recover." Smith made it no secret what she looks to do tomorrow, "I want to PR. I'm going to try to stick with those 2:13 girls and that should get me to a new PR, maybe top three tomorrow." Later in the week, she will also compete in the 4x400 with her Wings Track Club teammates.
Texas girls finish 1, 3, 6, and 8 in the 17-18 yo1500m
Smith wasn't the only Texas runner in that 17-18 yo girls 1500m. Pearland's SYDNEY DEVEREAUX took third place in a personal best time. Devereaux's first time under 5:00 and she picked the perfect time to do it as she ran 4:56.91. That wasn't it as Leander's HELEN RODDY also joined in on the party going 5:00.07. If you think that's not enough, then include Frisco's Emily Chastain, who also got in on the act. Chastain takes the eighth place medal and a 5:03.78 PR home to her North Texas Jackrabbits club.