Bright future for Rosemead High graduate and track star Elizabeth Lyons.
Now attending Pasadena City College and hoping to study business advertising, Lyons recently took part in the USA Track and Field Youth Outdoor National Championships at Benectine University in Lisle, Ill. near Chicago.
There, she took the gold medal in the 3,000 m race walk with a time of 24:32. She also finished seventh in the steeple chase.
She said she was very proud of her achievements.
"It feels good, of course," Lyons said. "It's good to be first. I worked hard. I had good form."
Lyons was a four-year varsity member of the Panther cross country and track teams. She said she picked up the race walk pretty quickly and got the form down right away.
"I like running in school, but during the summer I wanted to try other events," she said. "One of the freshman coaches got me into it. I then got involved with Southern California Roadrunners. I got to go to a lot of the practices and did a lot more training."
As not every kid gets into the race walk and the steeple chase, Lyons said she is glad she did.
"I like running and trying new events," she said. "They were events we didn't have in high school, so it was fun to try new things."
Lyons added she has to work harder as she is just 4 feet, 11 inches, which means her strides are much shorter than most of her opponents.
"The girls are mostly tall, but there are a few girls around my height," she said. "I have to work harder to get more steps."
Lyons said she would like to try out for the Olympic team and one of her later goals is to coach cross country. But she has some other ideas in mind, too.
"I want to try to go with businesses and help them design and market track things," she said.
She added her biggest supporters have been her parents.
"I like their support," she said. "They're always there for me, no matter what."
Her father, Chuck Lyons - a longtime Rosemead resident, said he thinks his daughter's taking up of some unique track events was a good idea.
"I think it's a great experience for youth to try different things," he said. "Maybe if they become a coach later they can encourage others to try that sport."
Lyon's coach, Dr. Mike Leong who is based out in the Inland Empire, said Lyons is a very talented athlete.
"She's very dedicated," Leong said of Lyons. "She gives it her all. She gives her heart. She's willing to trying anything and do her best. She's not afraid to try anything new."