DaJour "Cinnamon" Miles is still on her way to becoming an Illinois state sprint legend.
The AAU Region 13 meet in Decatur, Ill. this weekend is her coming-out party; or, rather, her return-to-competition soiree.
The state age group record holder for 100m, 200m and 400m set her personal records before she even entered high school last year: 11.9, 24.10 and 54.08. Many expected to see her tear up the state circuit this spring, but a disagreement with her high school coach caused her not to perform with a Waubonsie Valley singlet a single time this semester.
Miles says she plans to represent Waubonsie Valley next year and, in the mean time, looks forward to racing the AAU circuit with fresh legs.
Miles, whose mother, Joy, nicknamed her "Cinnamon," says she feels ready to run personal bests.
"I feel confident for this meet," she said. "I want to PR. For the 200m, maybe 24.1 or 23.9. For the 400m, I would like a 53 or 54."
Despite her young age, the rising sophomore is in her seventh year of track and field. She says she hated the sport -- until last summer, when she started winning.
"I got a trophy for it," she said of sweeping the 200m and 400m at the 2015 AAU Junior Olympics. "I'm happy that I've improved a lot and I think I can do it [again]."
She'll prep for this weekend with the same routine that she used to win those gold medals: listening to classical music. A few of her favorites are "There's a Better Place" and "Returning," both composed by Rhian Sheehan of New Zealand.
"I like to listen to classical music to get me in my mode," she said of her pre-race routine.
This weekend, she will compete in the 200m, 400m and 4x400m relay while representing the Aurora Flyers Track Club for the chance to return to the National Junior Olympic Games in Humble, Texas next month.
"I just want to give props to my coach for running, Coach Thomas Boatright," she said.
Miles trained with Boatright, her longtime club coach, this spring while in dispute with her high school program.
"I didn't enjoy sitting out, but I am glad I had some time to rest for this upcoming meet and nationals," she said.