Saleia Stowe, local 5-year-old track star holds national records

At the tender age of five, Saleia Stowe holds a national record in 400-meter dash.

Saleia Stowe, local 5-year-old track star holds national records
September 30
16:18 2021

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

When you first meet Saleia Stowe, she appears to be your average kindergarten student. She’s energetic, shy around new people, and enjoys playing with her siblings and spending time with her family. But when she steps in between the lines of a track, it’s clear this isn’t your average 5-year-old. Stowe holds the national record in the 400m dash, which she shattered by 10 seconds, and the 200m dash for her age group. Stowe is also second in the country in the 100 meter dash. 

With some encouragement from her father, Steve Stowe, who ran track at North Forsyth and N.C. A&T State University, Saleia started running track earlier this summer with the local AAU organization, Tri-City Relays. It didn’t take long to notice that she was special. “I didn’t believe she would do as good as she did off the rip, but it’s been amazing to watch,” said Stowe with a smile while discussing his daughter’s success on the track. 

“At the beginning we weren’t sure if we would be able to finish the season because she would be so upset when she lost, but she started winning and she started to love it.”

Saleia’s mother, Jameisha Facyson, said, “Honestly, I’m just one proud momma.” She noted that as the season progressed, Saleia managed to shave 20 seconds off her time in the 400 meter dash, which propelled her to the national record, 1:25. 

“She has accomplished this and ran times that we didn’t expect. She started out the season at like a 1:44 and now she’s down to 1:25,” Williams said. “That was something we could never dream of. She’s faster than our wildest dreams.” 

Kenterris Clinkscales, Saleia’s uncle, is also impressed. He said it’s been exciting to see his niece follow in her father’s footsteps. While at N.C. A&T, Stowe was a part of three MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) championship teams. “It’s just like watching my brother run. I watched him do it and now I get to see her do it,” he said.  

Saleia says she enjoys track because of the fun she has and the new friends she’s met from all across the country. And although she still has a few years before she’s eligible to compete, Saleia already has plans of one day running in the Olympics. Her favorite athlete is Olympic gold medalist Athing Mu, who also runs the 400 meter dash. 

“It’s really fun,” she said. “My favorite is the 400 because it’s the easiest.” 

Since finding her competitive spirit on the track, Shaleia has started playing other sports, including tennis and softball. To follow Shaleia’s journey on and off the track, follow her Instagram page, @trackstar_lei.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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