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York grad has Olympics in his sights

York grad has Olympics in his sights
By Rich Bockmann

One of the most accomplished track-and-field athletes to come out of York College is trying for a chance at glory as he attempts to make the Jamaica National Olympic team.

Michael Brown, 28, was scheduled to leave his home in St. Albans early Tuesday morning and travel to his native Jamaica, where he would try to make the country’s track team for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

At 28, Brown said this may be his last chance to make the Games.

“I was watching the Olympic trials for the U.S., and this 31-year-old, 100-meter runner didn’t make it,” Brown said Monday. “But I was like, I took my hat off to him. Even the announcers said that at age 31 it would probably be the last for him. I had a lot of respect for him right there.”

“It’s a little shocking,” he added, “because I’ve been running since ’96 and my knees are still at that good point. God’s given me that strength to push on and it’s a blessing.”

Brown moved in 1995 from Jamaica to Brooklyn, where he picked up track and field during middle school. He got a scholarship to Wilberforce University in Ohio, eventually ending up at York College, where he stood out as an All-American.

He was named City University of New York Athletic Conference Indoor Track Performer of the Year in 2005 and placed eighth in the 800-meter dash at the NCAA Championships. The following year he was named Outdoor Track Performer of the Year and placed sixth in the 400-meter race as the Outdoor NCAA Championships. He said he has about 14 records still standing at York College.

Months after he graduated in 2008, Brown made the trip to Kingston, Jamaica, where he placed seventh in the 800 meter in his bid for the 2008 Bejing Olympics, though his time of 1:53.79 fell short of getting him on the team.

This time around, Brown has his sights set on a time between 1:45 and 1:46.

“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “It’s an accomplishment. Many people don’t get the chance to make the Olympic trials.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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