*A 12-year-old track phenom has gone viral on TikTok with a display of her blazing speed.
The footage shows middle schooler and Junior Olympian Jaiya Patillo on a treadmill sprinting at 17 miles per hour. Kevin Pontillo, Jaiya’s dad, said his daughter was training at No Name Athletics in Ohio with her coach, Skyy Simmons. He said Jaiya was jogging at 15 mph, so her trainer increased the speed to 17 mph. He said she could have gone up to 18, but stopped for safety reasons.
Simmons posted the video of Jaiya on his TikTok account, and it garnered thousands of views. Her speed even caught the attention of ESPN, which posted the video on its TikTok account. It gained more than 40 million views in just days.
“It feels pretty cool because I didn’t think that ESPN would notice the video or it would blow up either. The first time I checked, it had 2 million and just kept getting more,” Jaiya told KXAN.
“Jaiya has definitely made our Petersburg family and Richmond very proud,” said her mom, Sheree Patillo.
Right now, Jaiya is training for a national competition to be held in August, but she says her dream is to run in the 2024 Olympics.
“People are encouraging me to keep going, and it’s really nice people are supporting me through it,” she said.