January 1 – Happy Birthday Izaiah Brown

11548415Izaiah Brown is the fastest Amsterdamian in history. In May of 2016, he captured the 400 Meter finals at the Big Ten Conference Championships, held in Lincoln Nebraska. The Rutgers University freshman’s time was 45.27 seconds, the fifth fastest time in the country this year at that distance. That effort qualified Brown for the Olympic Trials held this July in Eugene Oregon. At the trials, he failed to qualify for Rio. To do so he would have had to beat 44.82 seconds. If he continues to progress at the pace he has thus far, by 2020, Izaiah Brown could become the very first Amsterdam native not just to participate in an Olympics but to medal as well.

During his freshman season at Rutgers all Brown did was finish second team All American on the 4 x 400m relay record, win the Big Ten Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and the Big Ten Freshman Athlete of the Year awards, become the Big Ten Indoor Champion in the 400m, get named First Team All Big Ten Indoor, win the Big Ten Outdoor Championship in the 400m, and earn First Team All Big Ten Outdoor. It is safe to say that no track athlete in the history Amsterdam ever put together a more successful first year as a Division One athlete.

What makes Brown’s success even more special was his upbringing here in Amsterdam…

(I will finish Izaiah Brown’s birthday post in the second edition of my book, One Year’s Worth of Amsterdam NY Birthdays.” In the mean time I encourage you to read this outstanding piece about Brown written by freelancer Dan Kelly, which appeared in the Amsterdam Recorder in 2013.)

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