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A Lesson in Perseverance

March 13, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

Kamaria Brown and the Aggie Track and Field team will take part in the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships this weekend in Albuquerque. Action takes place Friday and Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Texas A&M enters the meet No. 3 in both polls and will contend for the program's first-ever indoor team title.

Follow the action with live video at ESPN3.com and through twitter @Aggietrk.


LESSON IN PERSEVERANCE

Kamaria Brown has overcome plenty in her career
in order to become one of the country's--and world's--best in her events

by Abby Drake '15
AggieAthletics.com

One of the few things that will strike fear into the heart of college athletes is the suggestion of an injury.

Sometimes they can only last a week, and the athlete is no worse for the wear. Some injuries--like those of Kevin Ware and Marcus Lattimore--can knock an athlete out of competition for an extended period, if not forever.

It is quite a feat, then, for an athlete not only to return after a serious injury but to also break a conference record in the process.

Texas A&M junior Kamaria Brown spent the latter part of her freshman year and the beginning of her sophomore year recovering from an injury to her quadriceps and another injury on her knee.

"The great thing about running here is that we are basically a family. We encourage each other and give each other that boost that we each need. It is just a great feeling to be an Aggie."

- Kamaria Brown

For some, this might be a setback, but the track star kept her determination.

“It is wonderful,” assistant track coach Vince Anderson said of Brown’s recovery. “She is doing all things well. She is training well and training better than she ever has. You need to support really good training with really good decisions, in terms of your eating habits, your weight room habits and all of those things that go together to make a great performance. She is trying to tie those things all together and she is doing a really great job. I think we are seeing the result of that.”

In her first two seasons in Aggieland, Brown placed high in both the 200- and 400-meter events--but it wasn’t until this year that she set a new record.

Several weeks ago, at the SEC’s indoor championships in College Station, Brown became the first athlete in league history to win both the 200- and 400-meter events in the same weekend.

“It was a great feeling,” Brown said. “I had doubled my freshman year. I got second in the 400 and I got first in the 200, but I ended up getting hurt. Last year I got second in the 400 and I got third in the 200. The accomplishment that I am the first person to win both events is an amazing feeling.”

In addition to the double wins, Brown also shattered the school record in the 200-meter race and became the fifth-fastest collegian in history. She was just five-one hundredths of a second away from the SEC record for the same event.

Still, Brown is not resting on her laurels. She was recently named both national female Athlete of the Week and the SEC’s female Indoor Co-Runner of the Year.

"I think that she has a huge future in front of her. She is disciplined enough to do the things it is going to take to be a professional athlete."

- Head Coach Pat Henry

A total of 19 Aggies, including Brown, will head to the NCAA Championships this weekend in Albuquerque.

“I still have a lot of progressing to do,” Brown said. “I have things I need to work on. I have a personal goal to lower my times. Just to come back after all my injuries…I went through my freshman and sophomore years and to have great times and great races would be a great way for me to end the year. Of course, we are going to go up there and try to give it our all, but if we can get a season-best like we got this past weekend at the SEC (Championship), it would be an amazing way for us to end the indoor and start the outdoor.”

Brown’s ambitions do not stop at the collegiate level, however. After graduating from Texas A&M, she is eyeing all possible U.S. National teams, and is even aiming to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Brown came close this past summer, as she was only one-one hundredth of a second from earning a spot on the U.S. National team.

Brown’s coaches are not surprised by her ambitions. In fact, they can see her competing in track as long as she wishes.

“I think that she has a huge future in front of her,” head coach Pat Henry said. “I don’t think she is one of those who is just going to be a collegiate athlete. Any time you are leading the world in something, it shows that you have what it takes to go to a level after college. She is disciplined enough to do the things it is going to take to be a professional athlete. She knows what’s going on, she knows how to do it and I think she is mature enough to do it.”

Nevertheless, Brown is happy to be where she is at the moment.

“The great thing about running here is that we are basically a family,” Brown said. “We motivate each other. We look out for each other. We push each other at practice. We all give it everything we’ve got, whether it’s at practice or a meet. We encourage each other and give each other that boost that we each need. It is just a great feeling to be an Aggie.”

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