TAMPA, Fla. — She is like a flash of lightning on the track.
A’Niya Carriera is blazing a trail through track and field competitions, racking up medals and number one rankings in the process.
The 10-year-old is ranked number one in the country for her age group in the track and field triathlon: the high jump, the shot put and the 200 meters. And she is ranked third in the 800 meters.
What is even more amazing is how she got her start in track and field.
This little ball of energy used to run everywhere she went and her mother couldn’t do anything about it.
“I’m running up and down the hallways and she’s telling me to stop and I just kept going,” says A’Niya.
One day when they were at a track meet for her brother, A’Niya’s mom, Shanell McMiller-Brown, decided to let her daughter run.
“I went to the meet director and I was like, ‘Hey, I know I didn’t pay for my daughter to run but can she please run?’ He was like, ‘Go ahead and put her in there.’ It was a couple of heats and he put Niya in there and the gun went off and she want off,” says says McMiller-Brown. “She ended running the fastest time. She ended up taking first place. Her first track meet and she took first place over all.”
A’Niya continues to collect first place medals ever since.
She has 193 and counting!
Her mom created a wall of fame in her bedroom.
“We have all her medals on the wall with her All American ranking hats, her medals, her patches. Niya has rings, bookbags, she has everything!” says McMiller-Brown.
Most importantly, A’Niya has a mom dedicated to her success both on the track and off.
“I stay in her ear all the time telling to about the 3 D’s, which my mom taught me. Discipline, Determination and Dedication,” says McMiller-Brown.
A’Niya knows all three will help her reach her ultimate goal.
“Which school do you to go to?” Her mom asks.
“Oregon,” A’Niya replies.
She wants to go the University of Oregon which has one of the best track programs in the country.
For now A’Niya is working toward preparing for a big meet in December. She will represent the United States at a national track and field championship in December in Freeport, Bahamas.