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She finishes second twice at the U.S. U20 meet and qualifies for a spot on Team USA.

PMG PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: MILES VANCE - Mia Brahe-Pedersen of Lake Oswego broke Oregon's 54-year-old record in the 100 meters at the preliminaries of the US. Under-20 Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, on Friday, June 25.
Mia Brahe-Pedersen has shifted into another gear.

Brahe-Pedersen, an incoming junior at Lake Oswego High School, had been chasing track and field history during her first two seasons at LO.

But now, after breaking the 54-year-old Oregon record in the 100 meters, she is now making history.

Brahe-Pedersen, who won 2022 Class 6A state championships in the 100, 200, 4 x 100 relay and 4 x 400, broke Oregon's 100 record on Friday, June 25, when she posted a time of 11.25 seconds to win the prelims at the U.S. Under-20 Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene.

In the process, she broke the longstanding Oregon record of 11.29 set by Margaret Johnson Bailes of Churchill back in 1968. Later that same year, Johnson Bailes won an Olympic gold medal for the U.S. in the 4 x 100 relay at Mexico City, Mexico.

"I knew kind of immediately that it had to be fast because it felt like a really clean race and I beat two of the fastest girls that I've ever raced against (Shawnti Jackson and Jayla Jamison)," Brahe-Pedersen said. "I turned around and looked up at the board and I was like, '11.2? What is that?' I've never I've never run in the 11.2 range … so I was like, 'Well. That's new.' And I just got really excited because I hit the wind and I realized it was legal and that meant I got the record."

Brahe-Pedersen had been close before, notching a wind-aided 11.09 in the state meet prelims back on May 20. She stepped up for another stellar time in the finals of the U.S. U20 meet. There, despite a less successful start, Brahe-Pedersen sped to second place with a wind-aided time of 11.09, trailing only Jackson's winning time of 11.07.

MIA BRAHE-PEDERSEN

"My hope (coming into the meet) was to make a relay team. … But then I guess I got more than what I expected."

Mia Brahe-Pedersen

"So that was not ideal," she said. "I lost my balance a little bit in the first 30 meters so that was not the best thing that could have happened."

Despite her inauspicious start, Brahe-Pedersen finished the race with a flourish, pushing Jackson to the tape and accelerating past everyone else.

"Once I got up and running around 50-ish meters, I started just accelerating past a whole bunch of different people, just one after the other," she said. "And then the last 20 meters … it was like a switch turned on and I'm just blowing past the last few people."

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Mia Brahe-Pedersen of Lake Oswego won four Class 6A state titles in 2022, in the 100 meters, 200, 4 x 100 relay and 4 x 400.

The keys in her record-setting run were twofold — better technique to her start and her calm demeanor.

"I was calm, which is unusual. I wasn't feeling too stressed," she said. "It was a little bit unusual being in that situation … because I've never been in that fancy of a meet before."

She wasn't done either. Brahe-Pedersen came back on Saturday, June 26, to duplicate her earlier success in the 200. First, she stepped up to win her preliminary race with a personal-best time of 23.02, and after that, she came back to place second in the 200 final with a PR of 22.98 (trailing only Jamison's PR of 22.93).

Her 200 time also gave Brahe-Pedersen hope that she might eventually break Johnson Bailes' other longstanding Oregon record — her 1968 mark of 22.95.

"I really would like to break the 200 record because that's like .03 of a second off," she said. "So that was a little bit bittersweet, but also, I know I can do it."

With her success at the U20 meet, Brahe-Pedersen won a berth on Team USA for the U-20 World Championships in Colombia in August. Thanks to her top-two finishes in the U20 100 and 200, Brahe-Pedersen will compete in both events in Colombia, as well as running on the 4 x 100 relay team.

"My hope (coming into the meet) was to make a relay team," she said. "So I was like, 'I don't think I'm gonna make it for an individual (event), but I really hope I could make it on the relay. I think that's a possibility.' But then I guess I got more than what I expected."


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