Sprinter Jaden Brown’s Phenomenal Performance Provokes Promising Passion

Tah'niyah Jackson, Staff Writer

Norristown sprinter Jaden Brown has had some amazing accomplishments over the last month. At states, he placed first in the 60 meters, second in 200 meters, and he came second for All-American. He is now second in the nation for 60 meters and broke the school record for 60 meters. But Brown didn’t just wake up with his speed. He put in a lot of hard work and time, and in the end, it paid off.

For these events specifically, Brown has been training since October, taking part part in pre-season conditioning, which prepares runners for their upcoming season.

His training was mostly based on his technique and speed endurance. “It’s hard at first, but as the season progresses, it gets easier, as my body gets used to it,” said Brown. The start of the season is usually the hardest for people, but Brown worked through the pain and overcame mental obstacles.

Brown’s coaches want him to be the best runner he can be and exceed his own expectations, as well as be more confident in his abilities as a sprinter. Milton Williams is the track team’s head coach who speaks very highly of Brown and his accomplishments.

“Having him understand the execution of racing regardless of who is around you. Really dealing with pressure situations,” said Williams.

Brown’s journey started during his sophomore year, with a desire to play basketball. Because he was not well coordinated, he was cut from the team. The coaches for the track team just so happened to be at this practice, and noticing his speed on the court, told him to try out for track and field.

With all of the potential that the coaches knew Brown had, he was still doubting himself, and it showed in his performance.

“At Nationals, I wasn’t running my best and my confidence was low. I was sad basically. I wasn’t doing my best, and that was my hardest mental aspect of track ever,” said Brown,

Even though he wasn’t feeling his absolute best, Brown pushed through and gave all he had to give, putting one foot in front of the other. After his events, his coaches were extremely proud and delighted for him knowing that he has come so far.

“The coaching staff, both me and assistant coach Yaneai were ecstatic. That was some of the goals we had coming into this year…Just to go through the process and see the end result be what you planned it to be was a relief,” said Williams.

After crossing the finish line during nationals, a photo was taken of him and Williams hugging. According to Brown, Williams was crying tears of joy. His family was also very proud of him, he considers it “cringey,” but he was still appreciative of his family’s support.

“My family’s strong words boosted my morale, that is what helps me get through,” said Brown.

His end goal for high school is to become the 100 meter State Champion, the 200 meter State Champion, and eventually break state records. But this is only for high school. Brown’s goals for the future far exceed anything he could do running on Norristown’s track.

“My goal is to go to the Olympics one day and win a gold medal,” said Brown.

“The path to the Olympics will be no walk in the park, and running for your school is different from running for the pride of your country,” said Brown. “The process might be longer and harder, but you sometimes have to work with people you aren’t comfortable with just to travel along the pathway to success.”

His greatest moments are when he can inspire and motivate his younger teammates. Those are the highs outside of winning his events, and the track and field team can be somewhat of a hostile environment for newcomers. You have to make a name for yourself, and there needs to be someone who goes against the grain and is more welcoming.

Brown believes that is exactly what he does. “I think I make it feel more welcoming because a lot of the new kids know me, I don’t know them so it’s like I have this responsibility to lead them to success,” said Brown.

He believes that if you do not try hard, you clearly won’t get attention from the coaches.

“The coaches want everyone to be the best they can be, and if you’re not putting in that work ethic, then obviously, you are not going to receive attention as others who are putting in that work ethic,” said Brown.

To stay motivated when his drive was running low was for him to trust in the process, and listen to his coaches, he understood that even when he was feeling down and out, his hard work would pay off in the end and that his coaches were telling him what they believed to be best.

Brown has been on the track and field team for 3 years now, even going to offseason practices, keeping his experience in mind, he had some words of wisdom for some young and aspiring track runners,

“Trust your coaches and give it your best. Don’t just slack off. Don’t just not try, always try…Stay focused, don’t go off chasing friends or whatever. Try to stay on the right path if you want to succeed,” is the advice Brown wished he would have received at the start of his running career.

According to the coaches of the track team, Brown has grown physically stronger and put on more muscle, but physical strength isn’t always the most important. “Mentally, that’s the biggest area he has grown in. To understand that when you are in these situations, you can’t focus on the left to the right, you can only focus on you and your lane,” said Williams. “When the pressure gets on you and when the stakes get higher. you really have to execute, focus, and just do you.”

Many people may have been inspired by Brown’s accomplishments and want to be great. But the first thing you try may not be what you are meant to do.

“One thing I would say to people who are inspired by his story is, just because you don’t make it in one particular place, doesn’t mean you can’t excel in another,” said Williams.