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Triumphs and Firsts: 2023 Virginia Beast Invitational Leaves a Lasting Impression

Updated: Feb 1

Virginia Beach, VA - December 3, 2023

Featured in photo: Jay Cunningham and Terrell Rouse Jr, followed by other Southern Sprinters athletes

Photos by: Laurent Boudias (kililouphotography.com, instagram: @kililou)


The 2023 Virginia Beast Invitational hosted by Coach Miami in Virginia Beach, VA was the season opener for Southern Sprinters Elite. Please read about the highlights from the meet!


Record-Setting Pursuits: Eleven-year-old Leila Wiseman left the audience in awe with a blistering run in the 55m, clocking an impressive 7.28 seconds. This remarkable feat was just 0.15 seconds shy of the national indoor season's best held by an 18-year-old, according to records on athletic.net. Wiseman's performance demonstrated not only her exceptional talent but also the potential to challenge records set by much older competitors.



Golden Haul for Chase Elliott: Twelve-year-old Chase Elliott emerged as a star of the day, securing three gold medals in the 200m, 400m, and 800m events. Elliott's versatility and dominance across different distances showcased not only his speed but also his endurance on the track.


Newcomers' Resilience: A special mention goes to the first-time indoor competitors: Aiana, AJ, Dalys, Donovan, James, Janiyah, Lilou, Mason, Nia, Peyton, Raven, Rhyan, Taylor, and Terrell Jr. These young athletes displayed remarkable resolve, participating in three events each against competitors from up and down the eastern seaboard. Their determination and enthusiasm were palpable, marking a promising start to their indoor track careers.



Personal Bests and Season Openers: For 10 of the veteran athletes, the meet served as a platform to set new personal bests. Madison, Yeshua, Terrence, Brody, Sophia, Leila, Laila, Layla, Jay, Shelby and Chase demonstrated significant improvement, laying the groundwork for a season that promises further achievements. As they shattered their own records, these athletes are poised to enter the indoor championships in March 2024 with head-turning times.


The 2023 Virginia Beast Invitational was not just a competition; it was a showcase of talent, determination, and the indomitable spirit of young athletes. Leila Wiseman's pursuit of a national record, Chase Elliott's golden trifecta, and the collective achievements of both seasoned and first-time competitors underscored the vibrant and competitive atmosphere of the event.


A special thank you to all of the parents, family members, caregivers, and coaches who helped make this meet run as smooth as possible for all involved.


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