East Texas 12-year-old to compete in National Junior Olympic - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

East Texas 12-year-old to compete in National Junior Olympic race

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BULLARD, TX (KLTV) -

An East Texas middle school student is schooling the competition when it comes to both short and long-distance running. It's a gift that her parents say just comes natural. Now, she's days away from competing in her biggest race yet.

Twelve-year-old Emilee Lewis was born a runner. It only took a local 5k to learn that.

"I got first in it and then we did some more of them, and I kept getting first and my parents noticed that, 'She's a good runner and she needs to do more of these,'" explains Emilee.

More of those races helped Emilee earn a lot of medals. At this year's district cross country competition, Emilee was the fastest girl at the meet. She finished her race with a better time than any high school varsity female runner.

"She's kind of freaky. She's good a short races. She's good at long races.You know how cute she looks sitting over there? When she runs, that's not the same face. She's all business," says her Bullard Coach Chris Pawlak.

Saturday Emilee is competing against 250 eleven and twelve-year-olds in the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championship.

"I'm just really nervous and I want to do good. I don't want to do bad, and I just want to make my family happy," says Emilee.

However, long before Emilee found joy in running, she was struggling in school. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and auditory processing challenges, but her running has helped her conquer the classroom.

"We just saw her confidence start building because she had something she was good at. School has always been a struggle and so this is where she builds her confidence," explains Emilee's mom, Sherrie Lewis.

Emilee has built her confidence and her grades. Now she's hoping to build a future through the sport.

"All I can say is, God gave her this gift and she just has an incredible talent and we're going to see where she goes with it,"  says Sherrie.

Emilee's Junior Olympic Championship Race is this Saturday in San Antonio. She says someday she'd like to compete in the Olympics.

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