At only 10 years-old, Daniel Skandera of Santa Rosa, California has now run 35 age group international records. 

Skandera holds international records from distances ranging between 600m and 5,000m, along with two American youth records over the 1,500m. Most recently, Skandera ran a 4:53.40 mile at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa to set the international mile record for 10 year-olds. The runner has become famous for running his track races barefoot. 

The IAAF states that, “Athletes may compete barefoot or with footwear on one or both feet. The purpose of shoes for competition is to give protection and stability to the feet and a firm grip on the ground.”

The fifth-grader has dominated competition off the track as well. In the boy’s 9-10 race at the USATF 2017 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, Skandera won with nearly a five seconds lead on the competition. 

Pictures suggest that Skandera typically wears shoes on the roads and for cross-country races, but goes barefoot while on the track. 

The barefoot runner is one of eight siblings, four of which are runners.

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Reportedly, Skandera’s grandfather was an All-American in track and cross-country at Pepperdine and then went on to become a coach. His father was also a collegiate runner. 

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The youth runner is keeping good company, as other runners on the age group international record lists include: Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, and America’s Galen Rupp

Strong youth runners can struggle to maintain their standing as they age. But if Skandera is able to maintain his momentum, he could challenge some of Ingebrigtsen’s impressive age group world records. 

Editor’s note: Even though these are the recorded international records, there are some nations that haven’t been included in the rankings. 

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