13 Year Old Daishon Spann Stands Out At AAU Club Nationals

To become a great track athlete you really have to get a head start. It's hard to start in high school. I'm not saying it can’t be done, but by getting multiple years to learn the ropes as well as get to know your competition it really helps create a great all around athlete. To have a range from the 100mh - 1500m is something you don’t see often especially if you’re actually good. Most athletes like this go into the multi events and try their luck there. This young lady has not only tried the multi-event circuit and the hurdles for the first time this year, not to mention she is a multiple time AAU Club National Champion. Daishon Spann runs hard on the track locally and nationally and I am proud to call her my sister. 
This past weekend Daishon competed in four events at the AAU Club Championships: the pentathlon; 100m Hurdles, 400m and 800m. This was her first time competing in the multi-events (Pentathlon) and if it weren’t for an Officials oversight, she would have placed 2nd. After four events completed Daishon was sitting in 8th place. With a great 800m run (2:21), she made a huge jump from 8th to 3rd place. As the open events began, she had three events on her plate, her usual 400m and 800m which both had qualifying rounds and this year she would compete for the first time in the 100m Hurdles. She was successful in all of her qualifying rounds, running a :58.1 in the 400m prelims, 2:21 in the 800m prelims and 16.68 in 100mh prelims. She set herself up well for the finals which was to one the 7th day of competition (7/13). When I asked if this is what she expected, she said, “I didn’t think that I would make it in the 100mh since it was my first time and I did not get a lot of practice. I was proud of myself for making all three events and then I felt a little unsure as the events were going to be close in the finals.”
On the day of the finals, Daishon said she was very nervous and unable to sleep, thinking about her races and how much strength and rest would be needed to be successful at all three events. As her first final was approaching, she was extremely focused and set the tone with her 1st race the 100mh. She came in with the 3rd overall time in her age-group (13 year old girls) and  didn’t disappoint finishing 3rd and dropping her time again from running 16.39. After the hurdles she skipped her awards and went to rest for her next race to come. In this race the competition was fierce with all the girls running under 60 seconds in the prelims and Daishon had the 2nd overall time. Coming off the final curve she was in 4th place but she made a strong move to position herself in 2nd as she ran to the finish. Two races down, and the hardest on of all to go, Daishon rested for about 2 hours before attacking the two lap monster. 
Let me give you a little history in this event, since 2010 when these girls started competing against each other there have only been two champions, Daishon won it in 2010 and 2011 and Tenae Grigsby was the reigning champion of the 800m since 2012 and had a two year undefeated streak going in both the 400m and 800m. This was definitely set up to be a battle of champions. “I like running the 800m because it’s a race not too long, but not too shot,” Daishon explains.

In the 800, Daishon was coming in with the fastest time and two races under her belt. As the gun went off, Daishon lead from the beginning and coming into the second lap it seemed as if she was about to fall off after a 67 first lap.  At the 500m mark Tenae' Grigsby came up on her and she didn’t back down, going into the final 200m they were dead even with each other, and as they hit the home stretch Tenae’ had a slight lead. Their strides were practically equal and with 50m to go I can see a little piece of Daishon’s black uniform in front. Then soon it was her whole body, and as I looked at the clock I saw 2:12, 2:13 and as she dipped to the line 2:14 flashes up. My sister was again a National Champion running 2:14.64 with Tenae in a close second 2:14.8 and they are both going into the 8th grade!
“I didn’t think I was going to win the 800m at clubs. The only thing on my mind was to go under 2:20en I won the race, I was in awe, I thought I was in a dream.”

Watch The Race
Daishon has been running since she was 8 years old, first starting as a sprinter, and shortly after her coach, our mother, decided that Daishon should run the 800m and from then it clicked. Daishon was strong and it showed on the track, two laps looked like nothing to her as she ran away from the competition. From the ages of 10-12 she concentrated on running the 400, 800, and 1500 where she had a lot of success. As her strength showed it was evident that the 400m could also be one of her strong suits. She has won at least one event at AAU Club Championships in 2008, 2009, 2010 and now 2014. Daishon also placed at every Junior Olympics from the time she was 9 except in 2012 where she endured a quad injury which kept her from competing. 
Going into middle school Daishon was dominant in everything 400m and up she ran for Pompano Beach Middle her 6th and 7th grade years.  When it came down to competing in the Broward County MSAA (Middle School Athletic Association), Daishon was competing against the clock. She is the back to back champion in the 800m at the Broward County MSAA Track & Field Championships and as a 7th grader she broke the 800m record previously held by Rachelle Alexander (formerly American Heritage standout and current Maryland Terrapin) by running a jaw-dropping 2:20.80. Daishon is definitely looking forward to being able to three-peat this year in the 800 for her new school Lauderdale Lakes Middle, before entering the high school ranks.

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