Cheltenham junior jumping hurdles to history

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Chanel Brissett has always been fast. (WPVI)

Chanel Brissett has always been fast.

But the Cheltenham junior hurdler didn't exactly take quickly to the hurdles.

"Honestly, I came to high school and I didn't want to do it at all. My coach was like, 'I need you to try this out. You're fast, you can do this.' I said, 'Nope. This is not my thing,'" Brissett said.

Well boy, was she wrong.

Chanel is now the top hurdler in the state and one of the best in the country.

She recently ran the 60 meters in 8.23 seconds setting a new Pennsylvania record.

In March, Chanel ran the 100 meter hurdles in 13.09 seconds, the best time in the nation, and the fifth fastest time for a high schooler ever.

The state record is great, but it's nothing compared to the news that at 16 years old, Chanel has qualified for the Olympic Trials.

"I'm still shocked. It means the world to me. It lets me know I really am working hard and I really am as good as people say I am," Brissett said.

Given that she's so young, does her coach see the Olympics in Chanel's future?

"Certainly. I think she's got all those tools, she is very humble, she's got a good set of values, she wants to work hard, and she wants to go somewhere and make a mark, not just go somewhere," Cheltenham track coach Kelly Jensen said.

In two years she'll be going to college. Florida, Florida State, or Georgia are the favorites.

Then after that?

"Ten years from now? I'll be 26. Having a job, probably, training for the next Olympics, wearing a USA top," Brissett said.
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