Sophia Rodriguez : World Record Holder

Dallastown 8th grader gets national attention after breaking a 44-year old record for the two mile.


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Dallastown Middle School student Sophia Rodriguez poses in front of a billboard in Times Square featuring her as a record holder.

Yet another inspirational athlete has made her mark on the Dallastown school district. Fourteen-year-old Sophia Rodriguez, a current 8th grader a DAMS, broke the two-mile world record for the U-14 age group. The previous record had been standing since 1979 (44 years), and Sophia beat it with a time of 10:20.68; just a mere hundredth of a second faster than the latter.

The Road to Success

Despite what you may think, Rodriguez has only been competitively running for about two years.

“Running has been implemented all throughout my childhood, yet I did not start competitively running until the end of 6th but mainly 7th grade, ” Rodriguez says

Her path started with her family’s support, specifically words of encouragement from her father.

About two years ago, her older sister Victoria who was a cross country runner took her to Greenway Trail for a two mile run.

“At this point I was in full soccer player mode, did not touch any outside running but just wanted to run with my sister, so I decided to just not let her out of my sight, stick right with her, and run hard,” Rodriguez said.

”I ended up doing exactly that, she tried to drop me, but I sucked it up and finished those random two miles in a new mile pr of 6:47 (at the time). That day, my dad said that was when he saw that I was a true runner and had something going… ” she remembers.

Dallastown students may recognize Rodriguez’s athletically talented older sisters Maddie (soccer) and Victoria (cross country). Although Sophia originally was following in Maddie’s footsteps, she now trots right behind Victoria.

Victoria feels the same benefits as Sophia when they work together.

“One way we’ve pushed each other is if we ever do workouts together, we always encourage each other, making sure we’re pushing each other just the right amount to where good results come of it,” Victoria says.

The support in their family goes both ways Sophia says, “I love watching her race and I get very proud knowing that she is doing well. And then the same thing for whenever I compete, Victoria is very supportive and always makes sure I feel good after any race.”

[I’m] just trying to reach my fullest potential and give it my all, but also relaxing, having fun, making memories, and being patient with my training.

— Sophia Rodriguez

Method to the Madness

Reaching such a large amount of success in a short time is not something easily achieved. Sophia has had to overcome obstacles in training and in racing.

“My age is one of the most challenging aspects because many races do not allow 8th graders to run (especially in PA with the states rules) so it is hard to being able to get into races with massive opportunity to run fast!” says Rodriguez.

Yet with those obstacles, she has found support systems, coaches, and role models to keep her going.

“My parents are my main impact, but my sisters play a massive role as well, so just overall my family.” Rodriguez says.

Her inspiration has been David Goggins, an American ultra  marathon runner, distance cyclist, triathlete, author, and retired Navy Seal. There is no doubt Goggins hard work ethic has impacted Rodriguez’s career.

“Running has made me hard-working, humble, ambitious, disciplined, outgoing, and overall, a more positive person and a better human being in general!!! The sport has already taught me so much and I have learned so many lessons from just the short span I have been running, it’s incredible how much I have already gained, and only will gain from it in the future!”

She no doubt will achieve great things in her future through dedication, consistency, and drive. She also makes time for enjoying the finer things of running.

“[I’m] just trying to reach my fullest potential and give it my all, but also relaxing, having fun, making memories, and being patient with my training.”

What’s in Store?

Although just having gotten the WR in the two mile, Rodriguez’s favorite event is the 5k (3.1 miles). She plans to go after the mile record, 5k, reset the two mile record, and chase down the 10k in the summer of 2023 during the outdoor season.

There is little that could change her mindset and confidence. As for the future, Rodriguez plans on keeping up her career for the foreseen future.

“I hope to continue running until I am in the grave! Running in college would be a great achievement of mine, but overall, I want my love for running to stay in my future forever.”

To learn more about Rodriguez, check out this article.