Junior Olympic track star from Tucson keeps breaking records

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Breaking junior Olympic track & field records is something 11-year-old Taliyah Henderson knows all about. The Tucson resident broke Arizona's record for the 800 meters by 5 seconds.

Taliyah's time of 2:15.70 earned her a silver medal at the USA Track & Field Hershey National Junior Olympic Championships in Greensboro, N.C., which occurred from July 23-29.

"She made a crazy comeback to race it out to the nail-biting finish and came in second by .02! It was a battle race after getting blocked in the pack and unable to pass," stated Danica Henderson, Taliyah's mother.

In Greensboro, Taliyah also competed in the 400 meters. She came in fifth place with a time of 58.47.

"I was happy to get my best time in the 800 meters in prelims and break the record, but coming in second and [fifth] has motivated me to train harder, come back next season and win gold medals!" Taliyah said.

Earlier in July, Taliyah won two gold medals and shattered Arizona records in two junior Olympic track events in Colorado.

Her first-place finishes in Colorado qualified her for the national junior Olympic competition in Greensboro. Only the top five qualify for nationals, according to Danica.

"We are so proud of her becoming a two-time All-American and everything she has put into this season and at nationals!" Danica added.

Trained by a coach who ran track for Arizona State University, Taliyah is part of the Arizona Titans Track Club in Tucson.

"I would love to be a professional runner, basically like Allyson Felix," Taliyah stated. "I want to go to the Olympics and run for either the U.S. or Canadian team."

Born in Canada, Taliyah has dual citizenship with the U.S. When she's not running, she's playing volleyball or other sports, and going to school like any other kid.

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