Rachael Wilson on the 'fast track' to the Olympics
A Fairfax County second grader is on the fast track to the 2028 Olympics.
While the event may be a decade and a half away, 8-year-old Rachael Wilson is already flying past her competition.
Just last month, Wilson smashed a national record. It took her about 72 seconds to circle the 200-meter track twice. That's more than five seconds faster than the previous U.S. record for girls 8 and under.
"It feels good to win all my races all the time," said the Fairfax sprinter.
She started racing competitively about a year ago with the "Fairfax Police Youth Club" and the medals piled up.
"I'm hoping to go to the Olympics, and I've had a pretty good year so far," Wilson added.
Last month, at the "USA Track and Field National Indoor Youth Championships", the Daniels Run Elementary School second grader shattered her age division's previous record for the 400-meter dash by five seconds. She was nearly four seconds ahead of her nearest competitor.
"Let's just say I had a pretty good coach," she said of her father, Hank Wilson.
Hank boasted, "She's the fastest 8-year-old girl at the quarter mile."
Rachael's dad, who is not a runner, was the one who spotted her speed.
"He discovered that I was fast and all and really muscular," she said.
"...running through the playground, running with her brother, who's been running for a few more years than that, and beating his friends," Hank added.
And now the tiny, 4'4" sprinter has her eyes set on the 2028 Olympics.
Hank said, "That's already on her radar, and she's such a competitive soul and competitive spirit that she may just do it."
Rachael's track team is definitely one to watch. She practices alongside Rheinhardt Harrison of Falls Church, an 8-year-old boy, who's the top youth distance runner in America.
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