'Surreal' time puts Brown among elite

By: Bob Holt
Published: Saturday, April 27, 2019
Arkansas' Janeek Brown runs the 100 hurdles during the National Relay Championships on Friday, April 26, 2019, at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.
Photo by David Gottschalk
Arkansas' Janeek Brown runs the 100 hurdles during the National Relay Championships on Friday, April 26, 2019, at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas sophomore Janeek Brown knew she had run fast after winning the 100-meter hurdles Friday at the National Relay Championships.

Brown just didn't realize how fast until she looked at the John McDonnell Field scoreboard and it listed her time at 12.57 seconds.

IN FAST COMPANY

Arkansas sophomore Janeek Brown won the 100-meter hurdles in a school-record 12.57 seconds on Friday at the National Relay Championships in Fayetteville. Her time tied for the eighth-fastest run in the collegiate ranks. Here is a list of the top 10 times:

rank;time;runner;college;year

1;12.39;Brianna McNeal;Clemson;2013

2;12.40;Jasmine Camacho-Quinn,Kentucky;2018

3;12.48;Brianna McNeal;Clemson;2013

4;12.50;Ginnie Crawford;USC;2006

5;12.54Keni Harrison;Kentucky;2015

6;12.55;Jasmine Camacho-Quinn,Kentucky;2018

7;12.55;12.50;Ginnie Crawford;USC;2006

Tie 8;12.57;Janeek Brown;Arkansas;2019

Tie 8;12.57;Keni Harrison;Kentucky;2015

10;Tobi Amusan;Texas-El Paso,2017

SOURCE Track & Field News

Arkansas highlights Friday at the National Relay Championships:

• Janeek Brown won the 100-meter hurdles in a school-record 12.57 seconds.

• Meghan Underwood, Quinn Owen, Sydney Brown and Maddy Reed won the 6,000-meter relay in 17:56.89.

• Erich Sullins won the men’s hammer with a throw of 215-8.

• Rashad Boyd, Travean Caldwell, John Winn and Kieran Taylor took second in the sprint medley relay in 3:16.54.

• Kethlin Campbell took third among collegians in the 200 in 22.90.

• Bailee McCorkle cleared 13-3½ to take third in the pole vault.

• Shakiel Chattoo and Tre’Bien Gilbert went 3-4 in the 110-meter hurdles in 13.92 and 13.99.

"It's so surreal," Brown said. "I can't believe I actually ran that time."

Brown broke her own school record of 12.80 set at last year's NCAA Track and Field Championships -- where she finished fifth -- and tied for the eighth-fastest collegiate all-time mark. It also is the fastest time in the world this outdoor season.

"I've been running fantastic times in the 100 and 200, so I felt ready to run fast," Brown said. "But I still can't believe it."

Two hours after winning the 100 hurdles, Brown showed off her speed again when she ran a personal-best 22.67 in the 200 meters, which leads the SEC this season. She was the top collegiate finisher after Jenna Prandini, a professional who won in 22.53. Prandini, 26, was an NCAA champion at Oregon, and finished 10th in the 100 at the 2016 Olympics.

"When you consider the SEC in the sprints is who's who, and you have Janeek as a hurdler leading in the 200, that's a real tribute to her and the way Chris [Johnson] trains her," Arkansas Coach Lance Harter said. "What she did was absolutely phenomenal."

Johnson, who coaches the Razorbacks' sprinters and hurdlers, said he was pleased by Brown's record-setting performance, but he kept it in perspective.

"I'm elated for Janeek, because any time a kid can do something like that it's special," Johnson said. "But for me, it's back to work. We have to dissect the race and see where we can improve and move forward."

Brown, who will run on the 400 relay today when the National Relay Championships continue from 10 a.m. to noon, said she followed Johnson's instructions in the 100 hurdles.

"He told me I should beat everybody to the first hurdle, and once that was over, I just ran like my life depended on it," Brown said. "He also told me that if I hurdled well technically, I'd be surprised what I what would run -- and I definitely was surprised."

Brown, a three-time All-American from Kingston, Jamaica, chose to sign with Arkansas over Auburn and Texas A&M.

"I visited Arkansas, then I went to Auburn," she said. "I told the Texas A&M coach that it makes no sense for me to visit there, because I already know where I want to be, and that's Arkansas. So I didn't even visit Texas A&M."

Brown said Arkansas has impressive facilities, but that wasn't the deciding factor in her college choice.

"Everybody has got nice facilities," she said. "It's about the people, and Arkansas is where I'm best suited. I feel like I'm home here, like I'm part of a family."

Harter said his coaching staff was "sweating bullets" in hopes Brown would sign with the Razorbacks.

"Chris had said, 'This is going to be one of the next great ones,' " Harter said. "Obviously, it's been a marriage made in heaven.

"Janeek's a great competitor and a great role model on the track, but she's very much a team player in all aspects."

Brown said she wouldn't be running such fast times if not for Johnson's demanding style and training with Arkansas senior Payton Chadwick, the 2018 NCAA champion in the 60 hurdles.

"I hate to admit it, but I'm kind of lazy," Brown said. "So I could be somewhere else slacking off and not running as well. But here, everybody's on my back making sure I do well in the workouts and get everything done that I'm supposed to do."

Chadwick, from Springdale Har-Ber, ran 12.83 in 2016 to set Arkansas' record in the 100 hurdles before Brown broke the mark last year.

"Now maybe they can trade the record back and forth," Johnson said. "Which is a good problem to have."

Chadwick, who will run the 400 and 1,600 relays today, said the competition between she and Brown makes them both better.

"We're two of the top hurdlers in the nation, so getting to practice together really pushes us to be at our best," Chadwick said. "It shows at the meets."

Brown might have surprised herself with her time in the 100 hurdles, but not Chadwick.

"I saw this coming from Janeek," Chadwick said. "She's been running really well, and she really put a whole race together."

Brown said as fast as she ran, her execution could have been better.

"I feel like I did something wrong," she said. "I can improve on that, which should make me a bit faster."

What did she do wrong?

"I'm not going to say," Brown said with a smile. "I don't want the competition to know. But I'll fix it and get it right."

Sports on 04/27/2019

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