Brown ready for a throwdown
March 12, 2009
Jordyn Brown will make her first appearance in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend, after her career-best throw of 53 feet, 10.2 inches in the shot put ranked her 10th nationally and second at the Big 12 Championship meet two weeks ago.
It’s another significant first in what has become a very interesting journey for Brown. Last summer, Brown qualified for her first NCAA Outdoor meet after walking on to the UT Women’s Track and Field team in 2007.
Brown finished second at the 2006 UIL Class 5A State Championships as a high school senior at Mesquite, but came to UT only with the mind to be a full-time student. Her mind changed quickly, and Brown talked with TexasSports.com about her journey through college competition.
How important was track to you during high school? I was a cheerleader in the fall, and spring time was track for me. And track always came second to cheerleading. It was really funny, because always the week before the state meet we had cheerleading tryouts, and I skipped a whole week of practice because I choreographed all that. My coach was always livid. Maybe if I wouldn’t have skipped that week of practice, I would have won. As soon as that last meet was over, I thought I was done throwing.
What did it feel like coming to UT as just a regular student? It was nice to come here and switch my focus. I didn’t think about walking on until later in the fall. My mom kept trying to get me to do it, but I wasn’t really feeling it.
Were you doing anything to stay in shape? Not really, because I wanted to get lean. So, I’d go to Gregory (Gym) and play around.
What changed your mind? I needed some structure and discipline, so I went into coach (Rose) Brimmer’s office. And actually when I was throwing in high school, my mom had contacted Coach Brimmer and told her about me. She called me, but I told her at the time I wasn’t interested, because I wasn’t. When I got to her office she already knew who I was, and I really just wanted to talk to her and see what I would have to do. I was so nervous. I had no idea what it would be like to be a “real” track athlete. It just took off from there.
How long did it take to go from thinking about it to doing it? Once I went to her office, she started talking, and I started signing papers. That was it. It was kind of spur of the moment.
Was there ever a moment after that when you questioned your decision? Absolutely. When I was leaving, she said, “We have 6:30 weights tomorrow,” and I thought she meant at night. But it was 6:30 a.m., and I thought, “Oh my.” I dove right in.
How have you improved since you started at UT? I’ve gotten a lot stronger. I mean, I always looked strong, but I was never actually strong. Now I am.
How do you place goals for this NCAA Indoor meet? I try to just grow with every meet, because I feel like I’ve come so far, and I don’t want to stop the process of progression. To go from where I am at (throwing) 53, 54 feet to where I want to be, around 60, it’s going to take work. And I want to see those gains.
Did you change your form and technique once you got to UT? Yeah. I pretty much started over. I had to go back before I went forward. My first few months … I was at this meet where if you didn’t throw past a certain mark, they wouldn’t even measure it. I had one of those, and it does feel like a blow to your confidence. To go from there to now, and to be ranked where I am, heading to the NCAA meet, it’s really amazing. You can’t forget that, and always just think about going forward.