Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Track Star Follows Mom's Path; Already Making a Mark, Raines' Frazier Sets Her Sights on the Olympics

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Track Star Follows Mom's Path; Already Making a Mark, Raines' Frazier Sets Her Sights on the Olympics

Article excerpt

Byline: TYRONE GAYLE

Brianna Frazier is a shy high school track champion with a simple goal. She wants to follow in the footsteps of one of her biggest heroes -- her mother.

"I started running because I watched my mom when I was little, and I just really got into it,'' said Frazier, 15, who will be a sophomore at Raines this year. "There are things I want to accomplish down the road because of her -- like make the Olympics someday.''

Brianna's mother, Letitia Silas, was nationally ranked in the 400 meters in 2000, the year after she graduated from the University of North Florida. Silas is Brianna's coach and directs more than 20 others in the Dominion track club.

Silas' daughter, who also runs the 400, is one of the club's most successful athletes. Frazier leaves Saturday for Ostrava, Czech Republic, as a member of the U.S. team competing in the World Youth Championships, scheduled for July 11-15. The U.S. delegation consists of 16 men and 15 women.

The U.S. team selection process was based on performance and required participation in one of three national qualifying events.

"Being selected is a pretty big honor for me, especially since I'm so young,'' Frazier said. "I knew I was fast, but I didn't know I was that fast. I want to go out there and make myself look like something.''

She did that in her freshman season at Raines, claiming the FHSAA Class 2A state championship in the 400 meters and as a member of the 4x400-meter relay team.

Frazier's state-winning individual time of 54.62 seconds was the fourth-fastest in the 400 as a freshman and the 25th- fastest in the nation, according to Dyestat.com's "Elite 100'' rankings. Dyestat is a nationally recognized Web site that covers high school track and field.

"I was really surprised when I won because I was a freshman, and I ran my fastest time ever,'' Frazier said. "I was really excited.''

Speed and a gazelle-like stride aren't the only characteristics that separate the 5-foot-6 Frazier from her competitors. …

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