Jayla Kirkland ran 7.27 in the 60-meter dash in the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York on March 12, 2017, securing first place.The national record for that race is 7.26. Last year, she ran 7.45. (Photo: New Balance)
Posted March 14, 2017
By Chanda Temple
On Sunday, March 12, Woodlawn High School track star Jayla Kirkland won first place in the 60-meter dash in the New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York.
"It's a big deal. For the past two years, she didn't win the national title,'' said Myra Hawkins, her coach. "Last year she was injured, and she placed 7th. And the year before that, she false started and she was disqualified.''
Jayla ran 7.27 in the race. The national record for that race is 7.26. Last year, she ran 7.45, Hawkins said. To see Kirkland prepare to run, go to the 5:31:60 mark in this video
. She wins around the 5:33:14 mark.
"We are both excited. It was a goal that we were trying to accomplish,'' Hawkins said of the national title. "We have been preparing for this for months now. We have been doing strength and speed development.''
After securing this national, first place high school title, Kirkland is now considered an All-American, which is given to those placing in the Top 8th in any national meet, Hawkins said. All-Americans receive a blue T-shirt, which she wore on Sunday when she received her first place gold medal, flowers and an American flag.
Next up is the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., June 16-18.
She remains the fastest, female high school sprinter in Alabama. In the fall, Jayla will attend Florida State University on a full-track scholarship.