Cha'iel Johnson, Ochocinco's Daughter, Is Nation's Fastest 12-Year-Old
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Cha'iel Johnson might have a famous dad in former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson, previously known as Ochocinco, but she's making headlines all on her own this week at the AAU National Club Championships in Orlando, Florida.
The 12-year-old has already won two events so far with still the 400m final left to go on Saturday. Her time of 2:14.80 in the 800m set a new AAU Club Nationals record and won the competition by almost a full second.
Johnson's 1500m win was more dominant as she clocked 4:47.92 (with a 71-second closing lap!) to distance the runner-up by 10 seconds. That was also her first-ever 1500m race.
The 400m will be her toughest race yet. She ran 59.38 in the preliminary round, the third-fastest qualifier behind Olicia Lucas, who ran 59.34, and Kylee Bernard, who ran 59.38--just milliseconds ahead of Johnson's time.
However, Johnson's personal best of 56.48 is the fastest in the field and leads the nation among 12-year-olds. All three athletes won their respective heats.
A six-time Pro Bowler, Chad Johnson gave a quick interview to FLrunners after his daughter's 400m prelim:
Another AAU record is within reach for the mini speed demon. Ashton Lindley set the AAU Club Nationals 12-year-old 400m record at 55.76 in 2014.
There's plenty to look forward to after Saturday, as Chad revealed on Twitter that Cha'iel will also compete in Kansas at the USATF Junior Olympics and Michigan at the AAU Junior Olympics later this summer.
Cha'iel represents Miami Gardens Xpress (MGX) and is coached by Darius Lawshea, who also oversees the training and development of high school phenom Tyrese Cooper, the national high school record holder for 300m.