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11-year-old runner breaks two world age group records in three days

At only age 11, Sophie Hall of Melbourne, Australia, is already beating competitors twice her age

sophie hall Photo by: Athletics Victoria

Last weekend, Sophie Hall, an 11-year-old runner and swimmer from Melbourne, Australia, made local headlines as she set not one, but two world age group records in three days.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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On Jan. 24, Hall ran a personal best time of 4:28.19 over 1,500m at the Victorian Milers Club meet, then she followed it up with a 3,000m in 9:38.16 at the U14 Victoria Track and Field Championships in Geelong. Both Hall’s times have shattered the previous 11-year-old age group records held by fellow Aussie runner Imogen Stewart.

In the 3,000m, Hall ran against girls three years older than herself and still managed to beat them by over a minute.

Hall is a youth athlete training with one of Australia’s most successful track clubs, Box Hill Athletics Club in Melbourne. The club has produced many national team athletes and Olympians in the last 20 years.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Running isn’t all Hall does; she is also a talented swimmer. Earlier this month, she won a silver medal at her state’s swimming championships in the 50-metre freestyle, and won another swimming medal one week later.

Last year, Hall hit a growth spurt, which has helped improve her times by nearly 40 seconds over 1,500m and by a minute for 3,000m. In the 2022 XC season, she also went undefeated, winning at the regional, state and national levels for her age group.

Most experts advise against heavy training for youth athletes if they are still developing. But in Hall’s case, it seems she has a lot of natural talent, a love for the sport and isn’t overtraining.

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