Junior proves hard work can make history

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Junior proves hard work can make history

Josh Dean

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Adriunna Brown, steps up to the line at the SLU Invite.

A row of hurdles stretches around the track and gleans in the sunlight.

The athlete now smiling and laughing describes her relationship with the hurdles as one of love and hate.

“What I’m thinking about is don’t be scared of the pain. I keep a bracelet on my left wrist which says don’t give up. Before every race I kiss it and I pray,” Brown, junior from Macon, Georgia, said.

The gun is fired and the runners take off around the track at SLU.

In a little over a minute history is made when Brown runs the second fastest 400-meter hurdle time since the track program began in 1980.

Her time of 1:00.84 fell less than two seconds shy of breaking the overall record of 59.67 seconds set by Tameeka McFarlane in 1999.

Her fellow hurdle runner Brianna Ried showed no surprise when asked about her teammate’s accomplishment.

“She’s very, very competitive. When she’s competing in a race regardless of what time they’re running she’s going to chase them down and go after them,” Reid said.

Brown began competing in track and field in high school.

She took part in several different events before finding a home with the hurdles.

“When I was younger I did sprints, but then my height weighed me down and so I had to go to the 400 meter dash,” Brown said.

“Eventually, I moved up to the 800 meter dash, but came back down and thought let’s try the hurdles. I’ve got really good endurance and so it was a natural fit.”

She decided to go collegiate with the encouragement of her coaches and since then has had success in numerous events.

She has won medals in the triple jump and long jump to go along with those she’s earned in the hurdles.

Assistant coach Glenn Smith, said she isn’t afraid to challenge herself.

“She’s a good learner and with her personality she doesn’t shy from asking questions. If she doesn’t grasp what you’re trying to do she won’t dance around and waste any reps, but she’ll ask you right away,” Smith said.

Brown said her second place spot in ULM’s history  books means  more than just a nice achievement.

It also represents an opportunity for her to show those back in her neighborhood and beyond that success is possible through hard work.

“I want to be able to set an example for poor youth, such as me coming out of a low income neighborhood. I want people in that situation to be able to look at me and see there is more to life,” Brown said.