Young Local Athlete Goes All-American and Doesn’t Plan on Stopping There

Student-athlete Byrum Brown

Student-athlete Byrum Brown received gold, silver and bronze medals at the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships held at Sacramento State University in Sacramento, California.

Most kids at age 11 are usually hanging out with friends, playing games or just surviving middle school. But that is not the case for Rolesville Middle School seventh-grader Byrum Brown. He was busy winning national championships.

Attending the Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club during the Summer Olympics year, Brown has had quite the successful Junior Olympic track and field season, which ended on July 31. While Brown went above and beyond in his athletics, he has made it top priority to be outstanding in the classroom as well.

“My parents have always told me school comes first,” the student-athlete said. “If I come home with a bad report card, I will not be able to play sports, play in the game or run in a track meet.”

Brown managed to maintain all A’s for the entirety of the 2015-2016 academic year, and he scored a 5 rating (the highest possible score) on all of his End of Grade testing exams. The 11-year-old strives in the classroom to achieve his long-term goals of competing in the 2024 Olympics and attending Stanford University or Duke University to study medicine and one day become a successful doctor.

Brown plans to make his dreams come true by “continuing to work hard and doing my best in and out of the classroom,” and he tries to ensure his success by making good choices: “I surround myself around other kids that want to do well in school and not be distracted.”

Byrum’s father, Andrew Brown, has been nothing short of his son’s number one supporter.

“The transition into middle school was not easy,” the father said, “but throughout the school year Byrum made school a priority and excelled in the classroom.”

Student-athlete Byrum Brown

Standing atop the awards podium, Byrum Brown very happily shows off his new gold medal after winning first place in his 1,500-meter race and receiving his national champion title. Photos by Andrew Brown

Along with football and track, Brown played recreational basketball at the Boys & Girls Clubs in Raleigh. During the winter, Brown and his AAU basketball teammates ended their season as league champions, and although it was a hard decision for Brown, he had to choose to either continue to play basketball or get more serious with track and field.

The decision was not easy for the athlete, but when he decided to drop AAU basketball, he set a personal goal to be a national champion in track and field and to make it to USA Track and Field National Junior Olympics Championships in each of his races.

Becoming a national champion was without a doubt going to be hard work, but that did not discourage or slow down Brown. Working with his Carolina Elite Track and Field Club coaches and his personal running coach, he followed a training plan that would best prepare him for every meet and race.

He placed first in all three of his events (1,500 meters, 800 meters, turbo-javelin) at the state Junior Olympics meet in Greensboro and the USATF Region 3 Junior Olympic Championships held in Landover, Maryland. It was clear all of Brown’s hard work had paid off. However, it did not stop there for him, for after his local and regional successes, Brown had the opportunity to compete at the USATF National Junior Olympics Track and Field Championships held at Sacramento State University in Sacramento, California.

Finishing each of his events with personal best times and distances, he also placed in the top three in each of the races as well. Earning three All-American titles and one national champion title, Brown not only met his goals, but he surpassed them.

— Abaigeal Brown • October 2016