From Staff Reports
Tatum Castillo made history on July 29 in Detroit, Mich. at the 2013 AAU Track & Field Junior Olympics held at Eastern Michigan University. Castillo, daughter of Phillip and Tiffany Castillo, a sixth grader at Rogers Middle School and a member of Lake Cities Cross Country coached by Brad Lutz, walked onto the track the reigning National Champion for the 3000 meter run.
Castillo arrived in Detroit with a personal best time of 10:27 in the 3000 meter in which she ran during the AAU Qualifying Club Championships held at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. on July 10.
In heat 2 of the 3000 meter, Castillo held strong in third place for the first 400 meters. By the 600 meter mark she took the lead at that moment and never looked back. Castillo finished with a time of 10:17 and a 33 second lead over the second place finisher.
Castillo’s finishing time not only won her the gold medal, but also put her in the National record book for 12 and under girls 3000 meter. She beat the record that had stood for 25 years. With a fresh win and a national record for Castillo, it was back to work the next morning for the 1500 meter run.
Castillo was determined to try for her second gold medal of the Games. Tatum finished second in the 1500 meter last year at the Junior Olympic Games and wanted to earn the National title for 2013. With over 75 girls competing in the 1500 meter this year, Castillo starts at the middle of the pack and by the first 500 meters gains control and never let up.
Castillo finished with an 8 second improvement on her time taking gold in the 1500 meter run as well. Castillo came within 7 seconds of breaking another National record.
Now that the AAU Summer Track & Field Junior Olympics are over, Castillo and her teammates will soon begin preparing for the Cross Country Junior Olympics held in December. For now, Tatum is looking forward to enjoying the rest of her summer and preparing to get back to school in the fall.
Links to Tatum Castillo’s record breaking 3000 meter run and 1500 meter are on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/pzP771eavUE (3,000 meter run) http://youtu.be/1RaDvjNadgA (1500 meter run).