Record-breaking Lake Oswego runner aims for Olympics

A Lake Oswego High School junior could break multiple records this weekend in Eugene at Hayward Field.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 6:21 PM PDT
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LAKE OSWEGO Ore. (KPTV) - There is fast and then there is Mia Brahe-Pedersen fast, smart and tenacious.

The Lake Oswego High School junior could break multiple records this weekend in Eugene at Hayward Field.

Mia began competitive sprinting in the sixth grade and is now twice a state champion and OSAA record holder in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. She continues to shatter records, raise the bar and quicken the clock.

“It’s coming sooner than I would have expected it to happen because when I think of what I have achieved now, it’s stuff that little me thought would happen way down the line,” Mia says. “I am starting to feel like maybe someday I will be ‘famous,’ I don’t know if I want that or not!”

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This is John Parks’ first season as the head coach for Lake Oswego’s Track & Field team.

“I’ve had some Olympians and I’ve had some NCAA champions and some All-Americans and all that, but she ranks at the top of the list with them in terms of talent but exceeds them in terms of her will power, drive and focus,” Parks says. “And I’ve never coached anybody that is any more competitive than she is.”

Mia’s 11.08 100 race this month in Bend was a National Federation High School record previously held by Marion Jones since 1992. Mia has bested friends, some boys and even her prom date along the way. MBP is the MVP and the third fastest high school girl in history.

“My dad has really short legs and a long torso and my mom has really long legs and a short torso, I got the long legs and the long torso and it’s the perfect little combination of genetics they couldn’t put together for themselves to be runners, but I guess it worked out for me!” Mia says.

The science-loving, A-student and baby of the family also recorded the seventh fastest 200-meter sprint at 22.61 and just took part in setting the 20-year-old Oregon relay record at districts. The Three Rivers League Champion is a 2024 Paris Olympic hopeful and just grateful to excel at what she works at the most.

“I’ve had to give up a lot just so I can be as good as I am, so missing time with friends, missing travel opportunities, I mean, I haven’t been on a vacation that isn’t for track since like 2018!” Mia says. “There are things you just have to give up and that’s what comes with anything that is worth doing.”

John Parks also once coached Ryan Bailey at Mckay, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist out of Salem who is now an assistant to the Lakers and Mia.

“You have to be elite to understand and benefit from some of the things he reached, and he gives her insight and gives her calm and peace and keeps it fun,” Parks says.

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Mia says, “As my name is getting out there more and I am starting to get more press that also comes with some other negatives and some things that are a bit more difficult to deal with that usually people wouldn’t even deal with until they are into their 20′s so dealing with that as a teenager is something that he is more familiar with and I am really grateful to have him around to help me work through it.”

Whenever there is doubt, Mia looks down to her left arm for inspiration. The tattooed gecko is in honor of her old neighborhood friend, Thomas Graham, who died nine years ago when she was in the third grade.

“I had to find a way to carry him with me through the rest of my life and I think it’s helped me to kind of cope with it a lot,” Mia says. “I think this was the final thing that I really needed. Obviously, I know he is always with me but it’s kind of a reminder like, ‘hey, as long as he is with you, you can do anything.’”

When Mia and her Laker teammates return to school after Monday’s holiday, they hope to be carrying back some championship hardware from Hayward Field Eugene.