* Shakayla Lavender of Oscar Smith (VA) won the 60mH title at adidas Track Nationals
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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Freshman Shakayla Lavender won the girls 60mH championship title Saturday afternoon at adidas Track Nationals.
Despite the long season, Lavender was able to put one last indoor race together before the outdoor season. As a result, Lavender posted her third-fastest performance of the indoor season with a time of 8.65 seconds to win the title.
She said she only had one thought today.
"Get out to the first hurdle and you're good," Lavender told MileSplit. "Get out and continue to run and you'll be there."
Entering her freshman year at Oscar Smith High School (VA), the figurative pressure was on -- as a high-achieving, national-level high hurdler -- but Lavender said she's been able to just focus on the meets on her calendar.
* Shakayla Lavender crossed the finish line as the adidas Track Nationals champion
Photo Credit: Mary Ann Magnant / MileSplit
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"I thought I did [have targets on my back after my eighth-grade season]," Lavender told MileSplit. "I feel like I still do. I had a lot of pressure coming in and I just had to block it out and get the job done."
At adidas Outdoor Nationals last June, Lavender produced a wind-legal time of 13.60 (-1.5) in the 100mH, which was a Virginia No. 7 performance, a U.S. No. 11 effort and the No. 2 fastest time for an eighth-grade athlete in history.
It's evident that Lavender has continued to improve, as she set a personal best this indoor season with a time of 8.57 seconds in the 60mH. Now the national champion is ready for her outdoor debut.
She said her goal this spring is to break 13 seconds in the 100mH, which would make her the tenth girl in high school history to do so under all conditions.
"I've been working hard towards it and I think I can get it," Lavender told MileSplit.
The national high school record in this event was set back in 2016 at the USATF Junior Olympic Games when Walton's (GA) Tia Jones produced a time of 12.84.
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* Shakayla Lavender after her adidas Track Nationals winning performance in the 60mH
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