IAAF World U20 Champs Journal: Aaliyah Miller Travels to Poland

Aaliyah Miller in the 800m prelims earlier today.

July 19: Prelims for the 800

My race was at 11:10 am, so I had to wake up a little earlier than usual this morning to get ready. Sammy and I got on the bus around 8:30and headed to the track! It was a little cold but once I started to warm up I started to get loose. It rained a little bit which wasn't surprising, it was chilly and cloudy in the morning. Once I checked into the call room I really started to get nervous. It suddenly hit me that I'm racing against some of the fastest people in the WORLD!!! Also, that I'm representing my country!! It was a mix of nervousness and excitement (typically the feeling every runner has before their race).

Going into the prelims, Top 4 in each heat and then the next 4 fastest times qualify for the Semi-Finals the following day. I was in the first heat, and we walked out onto the track in a tunnel! I felt like a professional walking out there, and at that time I knew it was game time!! When they called my name I kept swatting the bugs out of my face so I probably look silly (typical me). But once the gun went off I just got out hard and tried to stay up with the leaders of the pack. We went through the first 200 around 29-30 and then the 400 around 62, so it was an honest pace. The track was still a little wet so I got a lot of water flicked in my face! Around the 450 mark one of the girls moved up and I almost tripped which kinda spooked me, because I didn't want to lose the position I was in! When we came down to the finish I was in third, but the pack started to quickly come back so it was definitely a fight to the finish! I ended up placing fourth with a time of 2:08.21 so I got the auto qualifier for tomorrow! After that I went to the stands and cheered on my future teammate (Alison Andrews-Paul) who runs for New Zealand and my current teammate Sammy!!! They both won their heat which was super awesome to see!! 
Aaliyah Miller with Alison Andrews-Paul
After, I chased down Alison to tell her good job and met up with Sammy to go back to the warm up track to cool down. Then I went back in the stands to cheer on Noah and Hakim in the 100 and all of the long jumpers we had! It was so cool to see Ja'Mari compete today, he definitely came in clutch with his final jump!! Went from 13th to 1st, and even PR'd! I'm glad I didn't miss recording it!! Once we came back to the hotel we just chilled and played Uno the rest of the night before dinner! I cannot play uno. In every tournament we had I was always the first or second person to get out! It was nice to just chill tonight, definitely getting my mind right for tomorrow! Just have to take it race by race to get to the final, and then leave it all on the track!