MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fourteen-year-old Maddie Gourley is off to quick start on her high school track career.
Actually, she’s not even in high school yet and she’s excelling in the sport.
“Since I was like in second grade, I’ve been wanting to run in high school track,” Gourley said. “It’s pretty fun to finally come out here and do it.”
Eagan High School track coach Rob Graham has seen Gourley’s progress firsthand, even from those early days.
He said he would see her when she was little, running the track, her hair in pigtails, on Saturday mornings.
“I’ve known about Maddie Gourley for quite a while,” he said.
The Dakota Hills Middle School student is in her first year on the Eagan High School varsity track team, where she’s just trying to take everything in stride as she competes against more experienced runners.
“I kinda just try not to focus on anything, just try to run my own race,” Gourley said. “So then I won’t get nervous about how they’re older.”
The 8th-grader is among the top sprinters in the state and her clear focus is helping her put up some amazing times.
“When the chips are down, she really challenges herself,” Graham said. “So far, every single time that we’ve seen it, she’s risen to the occasion.”
Gourley pushes herself in the present and the long term a very specific objectives. She said that for every meet she attends, she has a goal to beat.
“It’s not really about like the place I come in,” she said. “Each time I want to try to get a better time.”
Gourley has already set a school record in the 200-meter dash with a time of 25.46 seconds. Her best time in the 400-meter is 58. 19 seconds.
She hopes she’ll make it to the state tournament.