BONSALL – Erin Kennedy, a sixth grade student at Sullivan Middle School, established a new track record for the school when she won the 1500 meter race at the recent AAU West Coast Championships. Kennedy’s time of 5:19.63 improved on the 2003 mark set by Carli Lloyd when she was an eighth grader at Sullivan.
“I’m so happy to be up on the record board at Sullivan, especially to be next to records set by Carli,” said Kennedy. “She’s a famous athlete; I think one of the best ever to come from San Diego, so to be competing against her running records is very cool.” Lloyd is currently training for the 2016 United States Olympic Volleyball team and is one of the bright stars of Team USA.
Kennedy is in her second year of competitive running and trains mostly by running in her neighborhood and running up the steepest hills she can find. She tries to run at least four days a week, even if she has to get up at 6 a.m.
“There’s no doubt Erin is a talented runner,” said Joe Barrios, an accomplished runner himself and father of Riley Barrios who won the Sixth Grade Girls 1600 meter race for W. H. Frazier Elementary at this year’s Don Dornon Games. “But what really separates her is the ability to set goals and work very hard to attain them. Most kids just want the records without paying the price to achieve them. Erin is one of the most dedicated young runners I’ve come across in quite a while.”
In addition to striving to break the Sullivan 1500 meter mark this year, Kennedy was chasing the Don Dornon Sixth Grade Girls 800 meter record. The existing mark of 2:41 was set back in 1982. Erin ran a 2:36.8 time in May to add the sixth grade record to the other record she holds at Don Dornon, the Fifth Grade Girls 800 meter race.
“When I first ran at Track and Field Day at Bonsall Elementary in fourth grade, I had no idea I could run,” said Erin. “I would never have dreamed I could set Don Dornon and Sullivan records. But this year especially, I really wanted to set some goals and see if I could make them happen.”