Offutt Junior Olympian strides toward her goals

  • Published
  • By Kendra Williams
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

At just 13 years old, Jaiya Patillo has already competed and won against athletes in high school and college. The 400-meter sprinter recently made history as the first middle schooler to compete against collegiate-level athletes and win the South Dakota State University’s Last Chance track meet in February 2022.

She often trains with Airmen at Offutt Air Force Base, where her mom serves in the Air Force at U.S. Strategic Command.

Jaiya currently runs 19 miles an hour on the treadmill and ranks as the fastest middle schooler in the country at 56.05, according to, which is a record she presently holds. She first set a record as the youngest female achieving 17 mph, then reset that record at 18.5 mph before her current best speed.

“One of my biggest goals is to go to the Olympics in 2024 and years after that,” said Jaiya. “Also, one of my goals is to break the world record as well.”

Working hard toward those goals, she is now a 14-time Junior Olympian who recently won the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic nationals in Sacramento, California, at the end of July. She also won the Nike Outdoor National in Eugene, Oregon, on June 19.

“We do five indoor and six outdoor track meets each year,” said Kevin Paitillo, Jaiya’s dad and trainer. “Three of those are against college students in open track meets.”

Jaiya started running when she was 7 years old and made nationals in her first year of running. She has gone viral multiple times for her speed and ability, amassing over one billion views across multiple social media platforms. She’s becoming well-known nationally and internationally as a Junior Olympian.

“Jaiya has been featured on a number of news broadcasts and documentaries around the United States and abroad,” said Lt. Col. Sheree Patillo. “They include ‘CBS This Morning with Gayle King’; twice on ‘Access Hollywood’ – previously with Mario Lopez and most recently with Kit Hoover and Carmen Electra; ‘Whistle Sports-No Days Off’; ‘Ruptly TV’ in Berlin, Germany; and ‘Zoomin’ TV’ in Amsterdam, Netherlands.”

Jaiya also makes a big impact off the field. She is an ambassador for her school where she is an honor roll student with distinction. She also models for Justice and Walmart Fashion, where she is the first Powered by Girls ambassador for the Justice brand and serves as a social media influencer.

Jaiya’s already being looked at by top high schools around the nation. Her plan is to attend Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, when she graduates high school, but she’s keeping her options open for now