Kansas middle schooler making name among top U.S. sprinters

Aria Pearce has her sights set on competing in the Olympics someday
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 11:14 PM CDT
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KWCH) - Aria Pearce knew at an early age she was fast. She learned to sprint on the high school’s dirt track in Sharon Springs and began to set herself apart, running faster than most high schoolers.

Last summer, Pearce’s family relocated to St. George outside Manhattan to help her seriously train. Her goal is to one day become the fastest woman on earth. For now, the eighth grader is one of the fastest teen sprinters in the country. Last weekend at the Kansas Relays in Lawrence, Pearce shined, running against and beating college athletes.

In the preliminary rounds Friday, Pearce put up a time that was the second fastest in the 100-meter dash in United States middle school history and would also be the second fastest high school time in state history, running an 11.50 against college athletes.

She followed that with a 23.79 in the 200-meter, a time that would be the fastest in Kansas high school history. Both marks are personal bests for Pearce.

Then in Saturday’s finals, Pearce took second overall in the 100 before winning the 200 in rainy conditions.