Young runner blazes to personal best

Rianna Rankin is quickly becoming one of the fastest young runners in the Cayman Islands.

Rianna, a student at George Town Primary and a member of the Mustang Track and Field Club, took a star turn at the Cayman Islands inter-primary track and field championships in late Match. The 10-year-old blazed to a first-place finish in the 100-meter dash, the 200m dash and the long jump.

“It’s unbelievable,” Rianna said on Tuesday in a brief interview with the Cayman Compass. “I was very happy. It’s been a lot of hard work, but at the same time, I liked it.”

Rianna said she started running in preschool, but most of her improvement has come since she joined the Mustang Track and Field Club two years ago. Last year, she finished fourth in both the 100m and the 200m at the inter-primary championships, but this year, her best burst through.

The effusive youngster showed marked improvement in all her events, shaving nearly two seconds from her 100m dash time and almost four seconds from her 200m time. Rianna finished the 100m in 15.91 seconds last year and 14.16 seconds this year. Her winning time of 29.05 in the 200m was a big jump from her time of 32.81 last year, and she hopes to keep improving.

Rianna won the long jump with a leap of 3.87m and was named overall champion of the meet.

Rianna Rankin

“I’m extremely proud,” said Paula Brooks, Rianna’s mother. “Rianna has worked hard and it truly did pay off. The coach’s dedication shows that people do really look out for your children. They want the best for them. Rianna has a good talent. I just hope she continues on.”

Rianna said the 100m and the 200m are her favorite events, and she hopes that running will take her to “college and all over the world.” She said she trains three or four days a week, and she credited her coach Tyrone Yen for his tutelage and inspirational manner.

“I want to thank my coach, Coach Yen, for all his support and dedication,” she said. “And I’d also like to thank the volunteers and coaches for helping me do better than I did the year before.”

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