17 year old school Girl Kayla Anise Richardson clocks fastest 100m time leading upto SEA Games
17 year old Kayla Anise Richardson one of the youngest members of the Fil-Heritage program and twin of Kyla; clocked an impressive 11.65 (+1.0) ; in doing so she won the California Inter-school Meet Southern Division in Los Angeles. Kayla broke the National Junior Record mark of 11.75 (+0.7); this was set in 2004 at the US Juniors Nationals in Oregon; by Bacolod born Princess Joy Griffey the 2014 PNG Champion. She also broke her PB of 11.78 which she set last year.
The 11.65 is the fastest time in South East Asia in 2015. Just ahead of Griffey 11.71 and Wanakit of Thailand (11.74). Kayla will be going to the SEA Games with Griffey in the 100 and 200. Kyla and Long Jumper Katherine Santos will join the duo in a formidable revival of the womens 4x100m relay; The Philippines last competed in this event 10 years ago. If Kayla is able to pull off a win at the SEA Games in either the 100 or 200 she may very well be the youngest champion in the events history.
200m at SEA Games also going to be a strong chance
In the 200m Dash Kayla Anise Richardson won the same California meet in 23.45 (+3.5); a wind aided performance. Her best time is 24.03, but she had ran a 23.84 (2.1, windy) back in 2013. This also puts her as a strong challenge to Singaporean local favorite Shanti Pereirra (23.99) and Griffey (23.93 last year).
“I wasn’t expecting 23.45, I thought id just run 23.8 but Woah! That’s a big PB” said a delighted Richardson.
Woah indeed as the double pony tailed Richardson, time is close to the national record of 23.37, and if it wasn’t for the wind would have taken away the 34 year old 200m JR Record of De Vega of 23.54.
The Makings of a World Class Sprinter: In the footsteps of De Vega
Kayla Richardson is not really thinking too much of SEA Games; she puts more emphasis on the importance of her times which is a good sign as it show she has higher ambition. This is how most elite athletes tend to think, winning events just comes in along the way.
“I’m hoping I can go 11.50 this year and as close to 23 flat as possible” she said.
Richardson possesses a lot of the makings of a world class sprinter, but more so a lot of similarities to the path followed by De Vega.
* Genetically she has West African blood through her father who played baseball; her mother hails from Zamboanga.
1. Like De Vega her father is also her coach with a strict training program
2.Also like De Vega she sports a double pony tail whereas De Vega had a single pony tail.
3. She is also above average height than an average Filipina at 5’9, De Vega was also at 5’6. Although now days around 5’8 up is required for a world class women’s sprinter with the odd exception.
4. De Vega also went to school in the United States with Walnut as her training ground, whereas Kayla is at Walnut High school.
As the first Filipino to qualify for World Juniors, without a wild card; Kayla has shown she is already world class for age. I firmly believe that she is our next best Female Sprinter. I also believe she can be very successful as a world class athlete.
To Richardson critics
Regarding Kayla Richardson critics who said she was getting too heavy, she wouldn’t get any faster, and she was an early bloomer ‘I rest my case’. Her injuries before were probably due to a rapid growth spurt. Now that she has passed this I expect her to start dropping some really faster times in the next few years.
I had always stated I felt she was the next great Filipina sprinter and could be world class and I rarely get my judgments wrong.
I now rest my case.
*Videos to come