The fact that Hailey Wright can run is, in itself, nothing out of the ordinary for a 12-year-old girl.
However, it’s the just how fast the young Kelowna athlete can cover 100 metres that is rather exceptional.
Wright, who is heading into Grade 7 at Dr. Knox Middle School, has qualified for the Hershey North American Track and Field Games next month in Pennsylvania.
Wright will compete in the 100 metres as the representative for region 8, which covers Alaska, Yukon, NWT, B.C., Alberta, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
Wright ran the 100 metres in 13.53 seconds at a qualifying meet at the Apple Bowl last month, the fastest time in the entire region.
In Hershey, the young sprinter will compete against the other seven regional champions from all corners of North America.
Her time of 13.53 seconds would have been fast enough for a bronze medal at the 2012 Hershey Games.
“She’s just strong and muscular, and she’s very athletic,” said her dad, Rick Wright, a former sprinter himself. “Hailey hasn’t had any formal training, so a lot of it seems to come naturally to her.”
A multi-sport athlete, Hailey also plays select soccer in Kelowna and is a freestyle skier at Big White.
Among her many accomplishments on the track, Wright won the 100 metres at the Jack Brow Memorial Track Meet this summer.
In Grades 4 and 5, she broke the Central Okanagan record in the 100 metres, and broke the district record in the long jump in both Grades 4 and 6. Hailey also competes in the 200 metres.
She is one of 11 B.C. athletes to have qualified for Hershey and will be joined on the trip to the U.S. by her dad, Rick.
The Hershey North American Track and Field Games will be held Aug. 1 to 3.