Lake Oswego, OR, c/o 2024
As a sophomore, Mia Brahe-Pedersen showed a hint of what was to be as she raced to a windy second place finishes in the 100m, 11.09(+2.7) and 200m, 22.98(-0.6) personal bests at the ‘22 USATF U20 meet. So it didn’t come as a surprise that this year she would build on that. The year could not have possibly gone any better Yet, it did bring with it unexpected challenges and opportunities.
Initially, she was a soccer player and a very decent one at that. She played forward and left mid as her team took advantage of her speed.
“I played forward and left mid, so I had a lot of running to do,” she says of those soccer years. “ And my coaches and all my teammates that I had over the years adapted different plays for us surrounding my speed. This was before we even started track or thought of even doing track. They realized that I was really fast and we developed a lot of plays around that.”
She picked up track in the sixth grade looking to improve that speed and for fun. In soccer, her speed was one that brought double, triple and quadruple team coverage. She balanced the two sports and on weekends she would sometimes have a track meet and games.
She was a “sturdy” build, but the attention she drew from other teams always made her nervous.
“The part that really made me nervous was I realized how often I was targeted because if you can’t beat someone fairly often people resort to being unfair and playing dirty, so I was fouled quite often. I have been a very solid kid ever since I was little. So the fact that I was getting pushed around like that was not a good sign. And like you said I would be quadruple teamed, and people would just resort to being dirty and it was just a matter of time until I got hurt.”
A couple of factors steered her to running track solely; (1) she just fell in love with track at the end of the season; and (2) her father, Chris, came home from refereeing a game with news that one of her friends had torn her ACL.
“He came home from refereeing a soccer game and told me about how one of my friends who was playing in that soccer game had torn her ACL in a completely legal way. There was no foul involved. She played the same position as me. In that moment, that scared the life out of me. I could not imagine getting hurt playing soccer and then having to just give up track and soccer but little me was concerned about track mostly. So I decided that would be…