Davidson Day’s Brown shines at national track meet
by Staff Writer
Jordan Brown has stood atop the medal stand at a national track and field meet before. He’s competed against – and defeated – some of the top young sprinters in the country, and he has enough medals in his home to accessorize an entire Olympic team.
But Brown said nothing compares with what he experienced at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro last weekend.
Brown, a Davidson Day School sophomore-to-be, left little doubt that he’s one of the nation’s top high school sprinters by taking fourth place in the Emerging Elite 200-meter dash and sixth in the 100 on June 18.
Brown posted a time of 11.09 seconds in the 100 final, although he established a personal record of 10.91 in the June 17 preliminaries. He finished the 200 final in 22.1 seconds.
For Brown, blazing the N.C. A&T State University track with some of the country’s best teenaged runners was a dream come true.
“Right before I went (to Greensboro), I was a little nervous because I knew there was going to be heavy competition from all over the East Coast,” Brown said. “I mean, there were people there from Maine. But I think I did pretty well for it being my first experience at New Balance. I feel like I’ve got some improvements to make, but I can get there.
“For me, it’s the top track meet I’ve ever been to. It was bigger than (AAU) nationals. It was a great atmosphere. It was just … nice.”
Brown, though, has been in his share of big track meets, with many of them coming before he reached middle school. As a 10-year-old, he won AAU Junior Olympics championships in the 100 and the 4x100 relay. A year later, he took silver in both the 100 and 200.
This spring, Brown finished second in the 100 and 200 at the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1A championships. At that meet, he established his personal best of 21.90 in the 200.
But again, the New Balance meet clearly ranks first in Brown’s book.
“There were a lot of things I didn’t expect at New Balance,” he said. “I saw a lot of college coaches out there, from all over the country. One of the things I’ll remember most is how much exposure a meet like this gets you.”
Last fall, Brown was a standout on Davidson Day’s first football team, scoring numerous times on (you guessed it) long touchdown runs. And while last week’s track performances might’ve drawn the attention of college track coaches, he hopes gridiron coaches don’t forget about him, either.
“I hope to pursue football in college but also fall back on track if I don’t make it in football,” he said. “I really love football.”
That’s understandable. Brown’s father, Larry, played football at Winston-Salem State University in the 1980s. The elder Brown, who also is a Davidson Day assistant track coach, believes what his son accomplished last weekend will serve him well in all facets of his athletic career.
“Jordan’s a young runner, and we’re very pleased with him because New Balance was a chance for him to step up against some very good competition, and he made the finals in each event,” he said. “As a coach and a parent, I was very impressed with what he did. It was a great experience for Jordan.”