Hackley sisters

Larissa (left) and Diyana Hackley pose for a picture in their Oakland PAL track uniforms at Patterson Community Stadium. 

Running has become a habit for Diyana and Larissa Hackley. The two Patterson residents have dedicated their spare time the last three years to the sport of track and field, and their hard work continues to yield results for the pair of siblings at the youth level.

In order to qualify for the 2018 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympic Games in Des Moines, Iowa, prospective athletes must finish in the top six places in a regional qualifier.

The Pacific and Central California Districts held a national qualifier at the AAU Track and Field Region 22 event at Oakdale High School from June 13-16.

Running for the Oakland Pal track club, Diyana earned a pair of first-place finishes in the 13-year-old 100 meter dash, and the 13-year-old 200 meter dash.

In the 100 meter race, Diyana outpaced a tough field with a time of 13.26. Second-place finisher Samiyah Brooks (13.37) of Full Stride Track Club earned second, and Aisha Raji (13.61) of Sacramento Speed Factory took third.

Diyana didn’t run her best race of the 2018 season at Oakdale; her personal record was set this year on May 5 at the Running Rebels Meet held in San Francisco at 13.14, but the time was enough to qualify Diyana for the AAU Junior Olympic Games. Diyana has shown steady growth in the 100 meter race. Racing in the 12-year-old bracket last year, Diyana’s best time at an AAU event was 13.43. This 2017 time garnered her a top 100 national ranking at the 12-year-old AAU level.

Diyana (27.63) also advanced with a first place finish in the 13-year-old 200 meter race. She has been progressing steadily in the 200 meter race this year. In 2017, she ranked 66th in the AAU national rankings with a time of 27.21 at the 12-year-old age group, but in 2018, racing in the 13-year-old age group, she has improved on that mark. She recently put up her personal best time at the USA Track and Field Pacific Association Championships on June 10 with a time of 26.35.

Larissa with a fourth place result in the 11-year-old 200 meter race, also qualified for a chance to compete at Iowa. Larissa (30.49) put up her best time since the Tom Moore Youth Invitational held on May 27 at Riverbank High. In that race, Larissa put together a time of 30.00. Her personal record was set at the Running Rebels Meet on May 5 at 29.64.

Larissa finished behind first place finisher Jacyln Chukwuma (28.29) of 5 North, Kaiya Quarles (29.35) of Fresno Flyers Track Club and Kaiyah Foster (29.56) of Hilltop Speed.

Larissa’s time in this year’s race was over one second better than her 2017 performance, where she crossed the line at 31.85.

Larissa also competed in the 100 meter and the 400 meter events, but was unable to qualify with eighth place finishes in both events.

Diyana sets personal record last weekend

Diyana stayed busy over the weekend, placing in the top three in both the 100 and 200 meter races at the USA Track and Field 2018 Pacific Association Junior Olympic Championships held at the College of San Mateo from June 22 through June 24.

Diyana ran the best time of her young track career in the 100 meter race (13.05), but despite her personal best time she would have to settle for third place. Leila Champion (12.84) of Diablo Valley Track and Field took first, and Kamaya Jackson (12.89) of EOTG set her own personal record to snag a second place finish.

Diyana (27.66) did slightly better in the 200 meter finals race, taking second place in the 13-14-year-old category. Najah Williams (27.38) of Hilltop Speed took the top prize. Kamaya Jackson (27.80) swapped places with Diyana in the 200 meter race with a third place finish.

Larissa also competed last weekend with a 10th place finish in the 100 meter race, and a 12th place result in the 200 meter race. She set a personal record in the 100 meter race with a time of 14.28.

PI sports writer

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