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‘Mia is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete.’ Lake Oswego’s Mia Brahe-Pedersen sends Hayward Field crowd into a frenzy

“Just the fact that I was able to finish on top like I feel like I was supposed to do, to get a PR on top of that, with Sophia (Beckmon) right beside me, it was magical.”

By René Ferrán | Photos by Brynn Kleinke 

EUGENE — Wilsonville’s Carter Cutting was just starting his interview after winning the Class 5A boys 1,500 meters Saturday afternoon in one corner of Hayward Field.

Suddenly, a roar in the background interrupted his answer. He halted for a second, then finished his response. 

Someone apologized for the interruption. He shrugged it off. 

“No, that’s history right there,” he said. 

The roar had been for Lake Oswego junior Mia Brahe-Pedersen, who brought the crowd to its feet with the latest of her breathtaking performances, winning a second consecutive OSAA 6A state championship in the 100 meters by running 11 seconds flat — the fastest time ever at a high school meet and No. 3 on the all-time list for high school runners.

“I was that close to going sub-11,” Brahe-Pedersen said. “I just know it’s coming soon. Just the fact that I was able to finish on top like I feel like I was supposed to do, to get a PR on top of that, with Sophia (Beckmon) right beside me, it was magical.”

Brahe-Pedersen has been best friends with Beckmon, an Oregon City senior and the state record-holder in the long jump, since the two started encountering each other at middle school meets about five years ago.

“Having her there with me is very comforting,” Brahe-Pedersen explained. “Every time we run with each other, we keep each other calm. We run our races like we know we can and can make history.”

Mia Brahe-Pedersen Sophia Beckmon photo by Brynn Kleinke

Brahe-Pedersen’s blazing 100 wasn’t the only record she set Saturday. She ran the third leg on the Lakers’ 4x400 relay that broke the record it set eight days earlier at the Three Rivers district meet, winning in 3:48.78, and she ran a meet-record 22.65 to win the 200 — just four-hundredths off the state record she set this month.

Her day started by running a leg on the victorious 4x100 in a season-best 46.90 — all helping the Lakers win a share of a second consecutive team title, tying with league rival Tualatin.

“I’m just really excited that I was able to contribute, repeat last year and make more history,” she said. “And we’re not done. We still have another year after this.”

Last year, Brahe-Pedersen precipitated a similar roar when the clock showed 11.09, but it was with a healthy wind at her back. So, when 11.00 flashed on the screen, she did a quick check to make sure the wind was legal — it was a plus-1.5, well within the limit. 

“Last time I ran here at state, I ran a really fast time, but it was wind-aided, and I think a lot of people questioned, ‘Hey, can she really do it?’” she said. “I always knew I could do it, and my coaches knew it. I think I’ve proved that a few times over the course of the season. I’m just glad I could bring that magic again here to the state meet.”

Mia Brahe-Pedersen Lake Oswego Brynn Kleinke

Her performances didn’t go unnoticed by her fellow competitors, with whom she was quick to exchange hugs and high-fives. 

“I knew it was coming,” said teammate Josie Donelson, who wowed the crowd by becoming the second girl in state history to break 54 seconds in the 400. “Just being around her and training with her, she brings such a positive energy, such good vibes. Seeing my teammate do so well just inspires me to do well as well.”

Meanwhile, 6A boys 100 champion DeMari Thompson of North Salem chuckled when asked about having to follow Brahe-Pedersen’s performance.

“That keeps me on my heels,” he said. “All my eyes are on the girls, but we’re still fast over here in the boys. But it’s amazing to be running at a time when Oregon is at its peak. Mia is a once-in-a-lifetime athlete. I really don’t know who you can compare her to besides the greats.”

Speaking of sprinting greats, Brahe-Pedersen has supplanted Marion Jones in the NFHS record book in the 100, and she’s just .09 behind Allyson Felix for the fastest 200 at a high school meet. 

Now, she has two runners to chase down on the all-time 100 list — Briana Williams went 10.94 as a Florida high schooler in 2019, and Candace Hill ran 10.98 in 2015.

“It’s absolutely going to be in the cards for me the rest of the summer,” Brahe-Pedersen said. “If it doesn’t happen the next time I race, it’s going to happen the time after that. It’s always a possibility. It’s going to come.”