Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson was known for running his mouth during his NFL career.
Now one of his daughters is doing a different kind of running: on the track.
Twelve-year-old Cha’Iel Johnson is at the AAU National Championships at Disney’s Wide World of Sports facility in Florida and is establishing herself as a young star.
On Wednesday, she set a new age-group AAU national record in the 800 meter run, crossing the finish line in 2:14.8; that’s just off the record for 12-year olds recognized by USA Track & Field, the governing body for the sport in this country. In 2008, Raevyn Rogers ran a 2:13.12 (Rogers, now at the University of Oregon, is a five-time indoor and outdoor NCAA national champ in the event).
Here is Johnson in the final stretch of the 800 – watch at the end when she pounds her chest twice, reminiscent of her father:
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) July 12, 2017
And she wasn’t done: on Thursday, Johnson tried the 1,500 meter run for the first time. And she won the national title, again in impressive fashion, clocking 4:47.92. For those of you not well-versed in the 1500, that translates out to roughly a 5:10 mile.
In other words, fast.
Chad Johnson wasn’t present for his daughter’s record-setting 800 run, but he tweeted Thursday that he’d arrived to Orlando from Los Angeles to see her run the 1,500 and 400 meter races.
And it’s not just his daughter and her team Chad Johnson is supporting. Earlier this week, he got word that a Baltimore girls club track team was crowdfunding the money it needed to compete at Junior Nationals in Kansas City and Johnson donated $2,200, almost half of the money the team needed to make the trip.
If Cha’Iel loves the sport and sticks with it, it won’t be a surprise to see her continue to be in the headlines as she approaches high school and beyond.