Several factors, including adjusting to the extreme level of competition, can make it tough for incoming freshmen to find ways to contribute at the collegiate level.
That was not the case at all for Fredonia High School graduate Emily Brown during her freshman campaign as a member of the track & field team at the University of Pittsburgh.
The University of Pittsburgh is an NCAA Division I institution that competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The head coach of both the Panthers’ track & field and cross country teams is Alonzo Webb.
Most freshmen need a little time to become acclimated with their new surroundings in college. But Brown, who holds nine school records at Fredonia, immediately found her niche.
Highlights during both the indoor and outdoor seasons for Brown included a first-place finish in January as a member of the distance medley relay team at the Notre Dame Invitational. In March, she placed first in the 1,500-meter steeplechase at the Stan Romanoski Open at West Virginia University. And she was second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in April during an event at the University of Tennessee.
she said. “That was really cool to be around. Just having the exposure to that was such a different world.”Brown is already making her mark in the record books as well. Her time of 10:29 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the ACC Championships in May is currently good enough for second place in Pittsburgh’s program history. She was a part of the distance medley relay that crossed the line with a combined clocking of 11:36 at the ACC Indoor Championships at Clemson University, which is good enough for seventh all-time in program history. And her clocking of 2:54 in the 1,000 meters during an event at Virginia Tech is 10th all-time on the indoor record list.
“My consistency in training helped so much,” she said. ” … but working on strength and stability and talking to the nutritionist about diet and focusing more on all of these little things that I did not even really think about in high school made a huge difference when I went to college.”
Following an extremely successful start to her collegiate career, Brown is certainly looking forward to what is next.
“I am really happy and really glad that I chose to go to Pitt,” Brown said. “Just because I like the physical location of it, Pittsburgh is a great city. And it is such a (great) community on campus even though it is such a big school. … Also, being in the ACC, I am glad I chose a school in such a big conference so that I get to go out and experience such great competition and have such a close team and have a coach who is really focused on growing the program.
I think that is the thing that I am the most happy about with my decision about Pitt is my coach is super focused on growing our program,” Brown added. “To be a part of something new and upcoming is exciting.”