Having already qualified for the American Athletic Union Nationals (AAU) in Norfolk, Va., Diyana Hackley has added the USA Track and Field Nationals to her itinerary, which will be held in Jacksonville, Fla., from July 27 to Aug. 1. The AAU will take place Aug. 1 through 6.

Diyana will compete in the 100 and 200 meter events, which should keep her summer very busy moving forward. The Apricot Valley Elementary School student turned 10 years old last weekend, and she has found great success in her first year competing on the California youth track and field circuit, vaulting her name up amongst the top youth runners in her age bracket in the state.

“To me it’s like an evolution,” her father Howard Hackley said. “Every race she learns a little bit more about herself. Every race she learns about what it takes to be a champion. Her upside is so enormous.”

Hackley plans to keep his daughter training in track and field for the next couple years in order to help her reach her full potential. He hopes to incrementally cut Diyana’s times down, and help her in any way he can to achieve her aspirations.

The Hackleys aim to attend both nationals competitions in Norfolk and Jacksonville and are looking for support from interested sponsors in order to help pay for the travel cost and lodging. But Diyana’s next stop will be Reno, Nev. There she will compete in the AAU West Coast Junior Olympic Games Track Meet at North Valleys High School beginning July 2, where she will get a chance to compete with some of the fastest runners in her age group.

Erick Torres can be reached at 892-6187 ext. 308 or erick@pattersonirrigator.com.

PI sports writer

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