Garrison's 8-year-old Brooke Sayre earned All-American status when she placed fourth at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics at Morgan University's Hughes Stadium in Baltimore.
Sayre entered the race as the 17th seed out of 39 runners but she ran her heart out in the 1500-meter, placing fourth in the nation in her age group with a time of 6:02.
“I really liked [running in the June 29 event] because there was a big group of girls in my heat that I could try and beat,” said Sayre.
Sayre began running in April 2011 and she continued because running makes her feel relaxed. After her brother joined the Westchester Striders, a track and field club that provides training for boys and girls ages 8-14. Sayre is the only Garrison team member; most others are from Peekskill, Yorktown and Cortlandt.
“I really wanted to try [the Westchester Striders],” said Sayre. “There were some more experienced runners and some less experienced runners when I started.” On the third day of practice, she told her coach, Peekskill's Ted Bitter, that she wanted to run with the older group and she succeeded.
“Coach Ted really knows how to push her,” said Jennifer Sayre, Brooke’s mother.
Sayre prefers to run long distances because “there is more room for me to catch other runners,” she said. Her coach gave her a goal of 6 minutes and she ran a 6:02 in the finals, her personal best by 26 seconds.
“My goal [with running] is to get better times every time I run,” said Sayre. “I really want to make the finals of the Colgate Women’s Games in January 2013.” Sayre previously competed at that event last year at Madison Square Garden, where she made it to the semi-finals of the 800-meter.