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Young runner impressive at city track meet
MARYSVILLE While 10-year-old Bri Gibson's most recent record-setting marks came in field events, the girl can flat out run.
Gibson picked up running two years ago and hasn't looked back since. But still in elementary school where there is no track or cross country team, she has had to find other outlets for her love of running.
So far that hasn't been a problem. Gibson dabbled in an area track club before settling into training with her mom, Darlene. She also competes in cross country and track through USA Track and Field and hopes to qualify for the Cross Country Junior Olympic Championships again this year, after placing 29th out of 223 bantam runners at last year's contest in Lawrence, Kan. She ran a 12:54 time in the 3k, which is a little under two miles.
But it seems that her parents are more interested in making sure she's having fun, bringing her to events like Marysville's all-comers track meet, too. In the city's last meet of the summer, it didn't even take Gibson running her best time to handily win the first heat of the 800, racing against boys and girls ages 12 and under. Her best meet time in the event, 2:53, is better than many of the two-year-old city records set by boys and girls older than her.
High school coaches who have watched her run admire her form, which is unusually strong for her age. But while she has made a number of friends at the Marysville meets, which she has attended since they began last summer, Gibson will probably end up competing for Snohomish, where she lives with her parents.
Still, high school allegiances aren't exactly on her mind right now.
"The team I was on was mostly older kids, so that was no fun," she said of her club running days, adding that she prefers running in her neighborhood with her mom.
Bri said she considers the two weeks between now and Sept. 1 the beginning of her cross country season her vacation from running. Nationals will be in Mechanicsville, Va., and although she has a cousin getting married in Virginia that same week, "Running comes first," her dad said.
Bri tied a city record for the girls high jump Aug. 14, clearing 3-8 and set a new mark in the long jump at 11-3.