Brown is just 18 years old and hails from the Cayman Islands, where the sun shines most for the year for the Caribbean nation.
“He’s a pretty special kid,” Milligan head coach Chris Layne said. “He’s really appreciating the process more and he’s very focused on academics.”
The young star has had an undefeated indoor and outdoor season so far, highlighted by his indoor national title in the 60-meter hurdles in an NAIA national record of 7.81 seconds. If his national record wasn’t already enough, Brown would have finished fifth at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships in the same event.
In other words, the Brown is a special talent and still has some growing to do.
“He’s a technician over the hurdles,” Layne said. “He’s getting everything he needs and we’re not running his legs off. He also does all the little things and is in the trainer’s room getting rolled out or in the weight room. He’s seeing the big picture.”
Going into the outdoor season, expectations for Brown have been lofty, but he has certainly lived up to them. He currently leads the NAIA in the 110 hurdles with a blistering 14.01 that he ran at the Colonial Relays in Williamsburg, Va., at the beginning of April.
“He has a great relationship with his teammates and he’s a great communicator,” Layne said. “Coach (BT) Pham and Rasheem have a great routine and we’re seeing incremental progress already.”
Brown had another chance to shine last week at the prestigious CARIFTA Games, which were run this year in the Cayman Islands. The CARIFTA is an annual track meet bringing together the youth of the Caribbean in two age divisions, under-18 and under-20. Previous standouts include Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, both from Jamaica and both having won multiple Olympic gold medals in the 100.
In the U20 110 hurdles, Brown finished in fourth place in 13.41 over the high school hurdle heights, but his time was the fourth-fastest in the world for U20.
The three that finished in front of Brown all have the world’s fastest U20 times.
Over the weekend, Brown added a little bit more to his resume — winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference title in the 110 hurdles with a championship record of 14.10. He also contributed heavily to the Buffaloes’ fourth-place finish as a team.
The NAIA national championships will be in Gulf Shores, Ala., from May 23-25.