Race-Walk: Brown named All-American
After spending most of the winter season injured and racing only once to hit a qualifier, sophomore Janelle Brown finished sixth in the race-walk event with a time of 16:06.13 at the NAIA Indoor National Championships to earn All-American honors.
“Since she had been injured for so long, the goal was simply to get in there and compete and see what happens,” said Nate Van Holten, who coaches men’s distance as well as CU’s race-walkers. “I wanted to see her get All-American to keep her streak alive but was not sure how fit she was to accomplish that goal.”
Brown has earned All-American honors in the race-walk event three consecutive times, beginning with her first trip to nationals as a freshman last March, where she finished fourth. During outdoor nationals last May she finished fifth.
Coming into the season, Brown’s expectations were high.
“I was actually expecting to do a lot better,” she said. “I got injured shortly after the beginning of the season, so I haven’t been able to train nearly as much as I had hoped.”
Although her place was better last year, Brown raced a full minute faster at nationals this year.
“I feel satisfied,” Brown said. “I am really grateful that I was able to come through the injury and compete at nationals this season. Getting All-American was my goal, but I had my doubts going into the race that I could achieve it.”
Van Holten was also worried.
“Road blocks, like constantly nagging injuries, left no room for training,” he said. “But I think she has a unique talent. She has a real drive to do well no matter what the situation is. If she can get healthy and stay healthy, she can be one of the best in the nation at her event.”
A three-time All-American definitely ranks her among the best, but Brown is already looking toward the future.
“I am going to use this season as a learning experience to propel me through the rest of my collegiate career,” she said.