This 3K Came Down To The Wire Between Two Elite 11 Year Olds

* Patricio Pardo and Victor Jaimez-Solorio went head to head in the 11yo boys 3K this morning

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As national champions were crowned this morning in the 3K at the AAU Junior Olympic Games, we were able to witness one of the most exhilarating face-offs of the day.

Let's start with California's Victor Jaimez-Solorio (Compton, Ca.).

The California kid is a familiar face to the AAU crowd, as he has earned four gold medals between the 800m and 1,500m distances since 2019. 

On Monday, Jaimez-Solorio faced off against Patricio Pardo (Bethesda, Md.), an athlete whom he beat year ago in the 1,500m. 

The battle was fiercer this time.

Only this time it was double the distance. 

* Victor Jaimez-Solorio leads Patricio Pardo for the first 1K at the AAU Junior Olympic Games

Photo Credit: David Nguyen/MileSplit

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From the start, Jaimez-Solorio took it out strong and led the first 1,400m. But Pardo was right there on his heels.

Over the next few laps, Jaimez-Solorio and Pardo took turns leading each other as they separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

Then Pardo made a bold move with 600m left to go to put him in the lead. Jaimez-Solorio dug deep and Pardo unlocked another gear. 

The Bethesda, Maryland-native crossed the finish with his first gold medal. along with a new 3K national record time of 9:48.26. The previous record stood for 19 years at 9:55.22.

Jaimez-Solorio finished with second in 10:14.53 and Thomas Kim of Virginia finished with the bronze in 10:25.73.

* Patricio Pardo after his 3K victory at the AAU Junior Olympic Games

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