Alabama athlete Jayla Kirkland wants to make a run for World Junior Championships

Alabama athlete Jayla Kirkland wants to make a run for World Junior Championships
Jayla Kirkland practices at Hayes K-8 in Birmingham recently to prepare for a competition in Greensboro, NC. (Bruce Nix/Alabama NewsCenter)

While most students are enjoying summer break, this is a full month of training for Woodlawn High School student Jayla Kirkland, who is the fastest female sprinter in Alabama.

Jayla shows off rings from her win in previous New Balance competitions. (Bruce Nix/Alabama NewsCenter)
Jayla shows off rings from her wins in previous New Balance Nationals competitions. (Bruce Nix/Alabama NewsCenter)

Later this week, she competes to defend her title in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash in the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in Greensboro, N.C.

Talent alone won’t get her there. Jayla’s team is raising money to compete June 26 in the World Junior Trials in Clovis, Calif. (An account has been set up at www,

If she places in the top three, she will then fly to Poland to compete on the U.S. team in the World Junior Championships (IAAF U20 Championships) in July.

Last year, Jayla competed in the IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, bringing home a bronze medal. She also dreams of competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Students and staff at North Avondale Library last week also made cards and signs to wish Jayla good luck as she goes for the gold in her competitions this month. They presented the well wishes to Jayla and her coach.

Alabama NewsCenter’s Bruce Nix spent the day with Jayla while she trained recently at Hayes K-8.

She was joined by her coach, Myra Hawkins, and an Olympic athlete who offered tips to help Jayla compete on an international level.

Can Alabama’s Jayla Kirkland secure a bid in the World Junior Championships? from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.


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