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Lightning Lay and Zooming Zay Earn Athlete of the Meet (12/30/23 Armory Youth Team Challenge)

Updated: Feb 1

In the world of youth track and field, talent, dedication, and a strong work ethic are the hallmarks of exceptional athletes. The Southern Sprinters Elite Youth Track and Field Team is proud to spotlight two outstanding individuals who epitomize these qualities as the Male and Female Athletes of the Meet. Layla Mitchell, an 11-year-old from Maryland, and Zayden Saxton, a 12-year-old powerhouse, have captured our attention with their remarkable achievements and commitment to excellence.

Layla Mitchell, at the young age of 11, has already established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the world of track and field. Hailing from Maryland, Layla's passion for the sport is evident in her relentless work ethic and coachability. Described by her coaches as one of the most dedicated and hardworking athletes on the team, Layla's commitment to her craft sets her apart from the rest.

With the support from her mother, Layla travels 3 hours roundtrip to practice three times a week and 6+ hours round trip to track meets. Her mother's dedication manifests in Layla's focus, and her consistency in practice. Her commitment to improvement was evident in the Armory Youth Team Challenge in New York on 12/30/23, where she competed in the long jump, 55m, and 400m. Layla secured 3rd place in the 55m, 3rd place in the 400m, and an impressive 2nd place in the long jump, setting a new personal record of 16'5".

With national rankings of US#1 in the long jump and US#2 in the 55m and 400m, Layla's star continues to rise. Her tenacity and commitment to improvement are the driving forces behind her success, leaving us eager to witness the greatness that lies ahead for this remarkable young athlete.

At just 12 years old, Zayden Saxton has left an indelible mark on the track and field scene, earning the title of Male Athlete of the Meet through his exceptional performance and positive attitude. Zayden's dedication to his craft is evident in his consistent hard work during practices, where he approaches each challenge with a laser focus and determination.

Zayden's triumphs at the Nike Armory Youth Team Challenge his prowess in the 55m, 200m, and 400m events, where he not only secured gold medals but also set personal records in all three disciplines. His #1 national rankings in the 55m, 200m, and 400m events are a testament to his skill, discipline, and commitment to success.

One of the key factors contributing to Zayden's success is his positive attitude and the strong support system provided by his parents. Their commitment to ensuring Zayden's proper nutrition and hydration underscores the importance of a robust support system which enables him to continue to be successful.

Layla Mitchell and Zayden Saxton, the Female and Male Athletes of the Meet for the Southern Sprinters Elite Youth Track and Field Team, have demonstrated exceptional talent, dedication, and resilience. As they continue to evolve and grow in their respective events, these young athletes serve as inspirations for aspiring track and field enthusiasts. With Layla's groundbreaking achievements in the long jump and sprints and Zayden's triumphant trio of gold medals, the future of Southern Sprinters Elite is undoubtedly bright, and we eagerly anticipate witnessing their continued success on the track.

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