Alexa Bates & Nina Milligan.

Local Junior Olympic Stars

Mid-City was proudly represented at the recent Jr. Olympics thanks to the accomplishments of local teen sports champs Alexa Bates, a USATF National Silver Medalist in 2009  and Nina Milligan, both residents of Lafayette Square.  On July 23rd - 29th they competed for the fourth straight year in the Junior Olympics held in Baltimore and are on a clear fast track to becoming Olympians in their twenties.

L-R  Bottom - Autumn Wright, Nina Milligan; Top - Alex Haley, Kenndi Adkins

Alexa’s team ‘Southern California Running Cougars’ competed in the 4x100m relay. Alexa also served as an alternate for the 4x400m relay. Unfortunately the Cougars missed advancing by 1/100ths of a second and did not qualify for the finals. There was a dramatic turn of events when the score board initially had them winning the race, then was suddenly revised, putting them in 2nd place. Her coach submitted a protest and the officials had to pull the photo, which shows the other girls torso crossing the line just before Alexa’s.  Still an extraordinary show of talent on Alexa’s part and TNN salutes you!

Nina’s relay team the LA Jets is ranked third in the nation, with Nina in the top ten in her personal event. Their hard work won the gold this year in the 4x400m relay making them the fastest Youth Girls 4/400 relay team in the country.  Three Cheers! --Alexa Bates pictured running in front--

When asked what they think about when competing, the two girls answered like the serious athletes they are:  “I am mostly focused on catching the person ahead of me and not letting the person behind me catch up to me,” replied Alexa. Similarly Nina stated, “I get a little nervous but then realize I just have to do what I do, -- that if I fall to the level of my training, I’ll do fine.”

Despite their demanding athletic schedules, both girls are superior students and well-rounded individuals.  Alexa who has been on the National Elite Youth Honor Roll found time to enjoy cooking in the Culinary Arts Honors Academy in middle school and maintain a 4.0 GPA for her 6th and 7th grade school years. The teen also enjoys fashion, photography and cooking shows. Nina is a 3.7 GPA student who also plays strings in the school orchestra, is a Student Ambassador and peer mentor at her rigorous prep school, and somehow also finds time to play volleyball! Alexa will be attending Marlborough School this fall in the 8th grade.  Nina is entering ninth grade at Harvard Westlake.

High-achievement runs in both families:  Alexa’s father is Eric Bates, Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, and mother is local realtor Traci Bates with Keller Williams Realty.  Younger sister Raina is a swimmer and performing arts student.  Nina’s father is a former NBA player, her mother also ran track and her brother currently competes in basketball.

“I feel great. I sort of feel like I’m flying!” explains Alexa about her running.   Mid-City is certainly lucky to have Alexa’s and Nina’s soaring examples as teen role-models.



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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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