WHEN Aaron Powell was three, his mother dressed him in a gown for a fashion parade.
Instead of strutting his stuff on the catwalk, he ran. He has not stopped running since.
Today, Powell, 17, is the hot favourite in the intermediate boys 100 metres event.
And he has caught the attention of sprint king Banuve Tabakaucoro who holds the record for that grade.
Mum Lute Powell is not surprised. "We had a fashion parade when he was three years old and I had put him in a gown and we had taught him how to walk the catwalk," Mrs Powell said.
"That night he didn't walk. He ran. He sprinted and I noticed his feet were light and fast. I realised then he had a special gift."
Pacific sprint champion Tabakaucoro believes Aaron can break his intermediate boys 100m record. The Bau bullet set the 10.71 seconds record time in 2009 for Marist Brothers High School.
Aaron, who is representing Gospel High School, ran an impressive 10.65s at the Fiji Games last week.
"Right now my intermediate 100m record is under threat," Tabakaucoro said.
"The way Aaron has been running, he looks pretty good to break that record," Tabakaucoro said.
"But Aaron will face a tough battle from Suva Grammar's Jacob Waqanivalu who has beaten him previously.
"Blue ribbon events are very tough because there is a lot of interest from people not only here in Fiji but also in the South Pacific. Focus is the main thing to overcome the hurdles on the tracks."
Mrs Powell, who hails from Lakeba, Lau, hopes her son's hard work and sacrifice pays off with a golden win tonight.
"I would love to see him representing the country in future," she proudly added.
The intermediate boys 100m event will start at 8.04pm at the ANZ Stadium in Laucala.