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Nine-year-old Tampa track star gets national attention for her speed

A'niya is a two-time All-American 800m champion, all before entering middle school.

TAMPA, Fla. — A'niya and her mom Shanell have something in common - they enjoy the outdoors and love to run. 

"I'd say when she was about three-years-old, A'niya was a little chunky and she just loved to run. Every time we would go outside she would take off running" said Shanell McMiller, A'niya's mom. 

Shanell also participated in track growing up and started running as early as five years old

"My mom ran also, so I wanted to be like my mom," said McMiller. 

Now Shanell trains A'niya, helping her stay in the best shape while being balanced with life, elementary school, and sports. 

"A'niya sets her own goals, everything she's accomplished is because she wanted it," Shanell said. "I'm just behind her cheering her on. I preach that to her, it's school first, remember you're a kid and then you have your sports."

The two-time All-American 800 meter champion has more than 80 medals on display at home. Earlier this year, she went on to compete at the Junior Olympics in Greensboro, North Carolina and ranked number one in the nation for her division. 

A'niya has older brothers who are also active in sports, ranging from football to wrestling. 

"Our days are jam-packed, we're always rushing to a track meet, cheer practice, a football game or something," McMiller said. "But I love it, I love being there to support them."

10News Social Media Anchor Aubrey Jackson asked A'niya what advice she would give to young girls who want to get involved in sports? 

A'niya replied, "I would tell her, you got this, and you don't have to be shy!" 

You can follow A'niya's running journey on Instagram. 

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