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Topeka seven-year-old runs fastest 100m dash in the country this season

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 10:57 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - You won’t find seven-year-old Quor’Vae Hailey watching TV or playing video games.

“I don’t do none of that stuff because I don’t want to lose time of my practice and my track meets,” Quor’Vae said.

All her hard work led her to the start line of the 100-meter dash at an AAU Junior Olympic Qualifier this weekend.

“She got down, hit the start, came out perfect, everything looked good,” Ramon Riley, head coach of the Topeka Blazers Track Club, said.

“It was hot and I was really sweaty, but I tried my best to win like my mom always says,” Quor’Vae said.

Not only did she win, she ran the fastest time in the country this season for age eight-and-under.

“We looked up and said, ‘Uh-oh, she’s the fastest time in the nation at 14.41,’” Riley said.

Quor’Vae is a member of the Topeka Blazers, a club team formed 16 years ago with the goal of keeping kids on the right track — in more ways than one.

“Focus is the key,” Riley said. “A lot of the athletes we deal with, they come from the kind of areas that are kind of hard, a lot of distractions.”

Riley has first-hand experience with that.

“I went to Washburn, had a chance to play there,” he said. “I turned it down for the streets, became a drug dealer. Probably one of the top five they wanted off the streets for a while, and just had a conversion. Came to face with my spirituality. My relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing to me, and trying to help kids to not go the same path that I did, that’s what it’s all about now for me.”

Roughly 50 athletes make up Riley’s team — each one of them given goals, structure and teammates to lean on.

“It gives them some hope,” Riley said. “So we use the sport to give them something to aim for and go after. I think it’s important to give them something to see other than what they see seven days a week when they’re at home or on the block that they live on.”

They’re also given a coach who believes in them all the way through the finish line.

“Kids that can’t make it to practice, he’ll make sure they get there, to the track meets,” Jermeesha Hailey, Quor’Vae’s mom, said. “He does everything.”

“I believe she can go all the way,” Riley said of Quor’Vae. “She can end up in the Olympics one day.”

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