<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/usag-yongsan/3634212949/" title="Yongsan American High School junior Kristie Taylor (center) competes in a 100 meter sprint in May. Taylor hopes to perform well at the Junior Olympics National Championships from July 30 through Aug. 2. (Photo by Dave Ornauer, (c) Pacific Stars & Stripes, Used by permission)"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2442/3634212949_54dcec7b94_m.jpg" align="right" hspace="10" width="240" height="159" alt="Yongsan American High School junior Kristie Taylor (center) competes in a 100 meter sprint in May. Taylor hopes to perform well at the Junior Olympics National Championships from July 30 through Aug. 2. (Photo by Dave Ornauer, (c) Pacific Stars & Stripes, Used by permission)" /></a><strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - Seoul American High School junior Kristie Taylor will be in Greensboro, North Carolina this summer to compete in the qualification rounds for the United States of America Track and Field Junior Olympics National Championship. Taylor will compete in the 100 and 200 meter sprint, and high jump events.

"This will be the most challenging event that I will have been in," Taylor said. "I know that my chances of winning these races are slim but hopefully I will be able to place in the top twenty."

The talented SAHS junior got a slow start in track and field. Her first experience in the sport came in 8th grade when she competed against other middle school students.

"In middle school, we would play manhunt and I would always outrun kids two or three years older than me and I wondered why," she said. "It occurred to me one day that I may have a talent."

In a recent meet in April at Kubasaki High School, Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Taylor finished first in both the 100 meter sprint and long jump event and finished second in the 200 meter sprint and high jump event. She earned 36 of the 62 points scored by the Seoul Track Club female team.

"SAHS doesn't have a track team, so I run with the STC, which is a union of runners from different English-speaking high schools in Seoul," she said.

Kristie is the team captain of STC.

Asked whether the absence of a track program in SAHS has disadvantaged her in anyway, she just smiled.

"Sure, it would be nice to have a track program at SAHS," she said. "But on the other hand I think I've actually benefited from the current arrangement. I sprint with boys, which makes me faster and I run on asphalt which allows me to run faster when I get on the track."

Her first state side track meet is scheduled for June 19-21. She will run in various meets throughout June and July which will culminate in the USATF Junior Olympics National Championships July 30 - Aug. 2.

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Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16