11-Year-Old Canadian Girl Grabs 5K World Age Group Record

* A shot of Niagara Falls in 2021

Photo Credit: USA Today 

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Eleven year olds ...they do the darndest things.

Like break world records. 

On Sunday, 11-year-old Sawyer Nicholson of Stouffville, Ontario -- located roughly 31 miles northeast of Toronto -- secured a new world age group record time of 17:28.1 for the 5,000 meter distance in a road race at the Niagara Falls International Marathon 5K. 

And the cherry on top? 

She won, too, gapping the second-place contestant by 80 seconds. The previous 11-year-old world age group record had last been set in 2015 by Grace Ping, who ran 17:28.3.

Ping, a former Minnesota high school state champion for Winona Cotter and a standout for Desert Vista (AZ) before her high school graduation in 2021, is now with Oklahoma State. She still owns the 10-year-old age group record of 18:02.10 and the 12- and 13-year-old marks of 16:44.80 and 16:25.63.

Nicholson's time is also faster than the 11-year-old world age group track record of 17:41, which was set in 2022 by Mia Guillergan of Australia.

Nicholson told Canadian Running Magazine that "I never thought about a world record. It's crazy!" 

She first broke 19 minutes for 5K last year at the same race, clocking a time of 18:55. She runs for the Durham Dragons and has her next race on Saturday, Oct. 28. 

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