By: J. Daniel Pearson
The nation’s fastest eight-year-old may just reside in Kissimmee, Fla.
Masiah McGee proved that at the 2022 AAU Primary Nationals (July 11-12), when he won a pair of national championships — taking both the 100 meter and 200 meter events in the eight-year old category.
Competing for the Charger Elite AAU team, McGee won the 100-meter dash in 14.15 seconds – a full 15/100th of second faster than Wade Dallas III of Mpowered Athletix. The same day, he won the 200-meter dash, setting a national AAU age group record in 28.30 – breaking the eight-year old record of 28.55 set by Jaren Hamilton in 2013. His time was more than 31/100th of a second faster than second-place finisher Bentley Slayden of Boca Track Club (Fla.).
He has recorded the top times in the nation this year in his age group for the 100, 200 and 400-meter runs. And he now will compete in the Junior Olympic National Championships, July 30 through August 6 on the campus of North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.
While a top-eight finish at the AAU Primary Nationals was required to qualify for the Junior Nationals, McGee had already qualified for the events — when he recorded a rare triple by winning the 100, 200 and 400 meters at a AAU Sectional qualifier in Jacksonville at June.
His 400 time also tied for the fastest time in the country in his age group, giving him either a number one ranking in all three events.
What is really remarkable is that Masiah just started running track this spring. “He loved football and always seemed to be the fastest kid on the field,” his father Oscar Magee – a former football and track standout at Osceola High School – said. “Some of his football teammates ran track to and he said he wanted to give it a try.
It did not take long for either Masiah or his father to realize he might be special in the sport. “By his second meet MJ (the nickname his father gave him) was beating some really good kids so we just decided to stick with it,” Oscar says about his son. “He really seems to love the sport too, which is a major consideration.”
Eric Pinellas, the Osceola High Football and Track coach, helps coach Masiah’s AAU Team and calls the young prodigy a natural. “He’s top ranked in the nation in three events, but here’s another story for you,” Pinellas said. “He wanted to try the long jump and was practicing and on his second attempt, he surpassed the best jump in the nation for his age group. During the meet, another jumper exceeded his effort but unofficially he had the best performance in the nation in four different events.”
Pinellas added that Masiah has the makings of a star. “He is the real deal. He’s young and has a lot to learn,” Pinellas said. “But for someone that young to pick up the sport and reach those levels of achievement in just a couple of months is really a remarkable story.”