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Kellah Smith, 12, a seventh grader at Coffee Middle School, just staked her claim as one of the best 12-year-old distance runners in the country.
At the recent AAU Junior Olympic Games at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Kellah finished on the podium in the 3000 meters (1.86 miles) and narrowly missed the podium in the 1500 meters (.93 miles or sometimes called the metric mile).
Kellah turned in an 11:18.06 in the 3000 meters, fast enough for a fourth place finish in her age group. In the 1500 meters, she came in ninth with a 5:09:00. Kellah missed the podium by .05 of a second in the 1500. The top eight make the podium; eighth place came in a 5:08.95. Kellah also ran the 800 meters at the Junior Olympics.
The Coffee cross country program has had some fast young ladies come through over the last few years who have rewritten the distance running record books. And it doesn’t look like those records will stand much longer.