Liyah Nelson- Medal Winning Athlete Of Madison Academy
MADISON- The record books among athletics at Madison Academy may have to add a new volume to its already extensive history. Liyah Nelson is about to exit the private school through her 2021 graduation as one of the most accomplished track athletes to ever grace the school colors of maroon and gold for the Mustangs.
Nelson will depart the Class 4-5A school with eight state championships and three second place finishes among the track and field programs at Madison Academy.
“I started running track in the third grade the same year the school officially began its track and field program,” said Nelson, 18.
Her enormous talents on the track combined with her superior academic gift of carrying a 4.20 grade point average placing her No. 13 in her senior class have provided her the right stuff to gain an athletic scholarship to run track in college as she has signed with Samford University in Birmingham.
Since joining the track team as a seventh grade student-athlete, the 5-foot-2, 113-pound Nelson has won three state championships in the 100-meter, two gold medals in the 200-meter and three first place finishes as part of the 4×100 relay squads. She’s also stood upon the medal-winning podium as state runner-up three times. In the recent 2021 State Track Championships, Nelson won the 100meter with a time of 12.38 seconds. In the preliminary race, she set her personal best time at 12.01.
“I am very focused and I try and execute my technique very well as I always try and get out of the starting block quickly,” said Nelson.
Speed has always been something Nelson has possessed as growing up she was the fastest youngster on the block and her speed was faster than most boys. She played both soccer and volleyball until she chose track as her fulltime sport, which led to her gaining a scholarship for her college education.
The daughter of Gayland and Renita Nelson looks to study speech and language pathology at Samford. She added, “I’ve always wanted to work with kids. Seeing others in that field of work drew my interest.”
In 2020 during her junior season, Nelson suffered a back injury that kept her sidelined. She had pain in her hips and back, but she kept training knowing her final, senior season was on its way as she sat out the indoor season of track to rehab and concentrate on the outdoor season where she showed great promise and leadership on the team.
Her gold medals she proudly displays is the mark of years of hard work, determination and natural speed.