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Leesville 8-year-old ranked in nation’s top three, set to compete in Junior Olympics

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 6:22 PM CDT
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LEESVILLE, La. (KALB) - The Leesville AAU Track Club had 19 runners qualify for the Junior Olympics, including three relays and several open events. Gabrielle Wright is one of the runners qualified at only eight years old.

“She won the 200, 400 and 800,” Troy Jackson, the president and head coach of the Leesville AAU Track Club, said. “She beat everybody by over 50 meters in all her races.”

However, Gabrielle is not satisfied with being ranked number three.

“[I want] to be number one in the nation,” Gabrielle said.

While Gabrielle has found success on the track, it is safe to say she did not reach these milestones all by herself. Some of the credit will go towards inheriting good genes from her father.

“I ran track in college,” Gregory Wright, Gabrielle’s father, said. “So, track is my love, and I decided to bring my kids out here, let them run and see how they felt about it. Once they ran, they fell in love with it.”

Not only is Gabrielle athletically gifted, but her mindset helps her push beyond points where most people might quit.

“You’re supposed to not give up,” Gabrielle said. “When you are tired, fight through it.”

“She’s [at the] top in the nation right now,” Gregory Wright said. “So all eyes are going to be on her when it comes to the Junior Olympics.”

Central Louisiana will be cheering for Gabrielle and Leesville’s entire track club at the Junior Olympics from July 26 through August 1.

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