Chris Brown, a senior at Brandeis University, is about to begin his final season of cross country. He has seven years of racing experience under his belt, and is ready to make this year count.
Over the summer, the graduate put in 85 miles of training in each week to prepare for the fall, with hopes to earn a trip to the NCAA D-III Cross Country Championships in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin with Coach John Evans. Currently, Brown and his team are ranked No. 16 in the country.
Though he still has an important year left in his college career, Brown has plenty of accomplishments so far.
“The highlight of my career is that I won D- III New England’s this past spring, and I made nationals three years in a row for cross country,” said Brown.
His experience will certainly be an advantage when the championship races roll around in November. As a freshman, Brown and his team were pleasantly surprised when they qualified for nationals, and the team placed 20th overall. Though the Judges didn’t have a great year at nationals when Brown was a junior, Brandeis performed well under pressure last season, securing a respectable sixteenth place.
“Last year there were a lot of expectations, but we got 16th so that was pretty exciting,” he said.
Brown started running cross country as a freshman in high school, and it quickly became apparent that choosing to run was the right decision for him.
“I stared at Chelmsford High School under Durk [Coach Jim Durkin], and then [Coach Brian] Crane. I ran cross country, and a lot of miles and two miles,” Brown said.
As a Lion, Brown was awarded Runner of the Year two times. During his junior year, he won the MIAA D-I class meet in the mile, and along with several teammates, Brown competed in the High School Nationals meet for the 4xmile and the DMR in Washington, DC. The standout runner won the MVC Cross Country Championships as a senior, and placed 12th overall in the MIAA State Cross Country Championships in Gardner, MA.
Now a captain of the NCAA D-III team, Brown specializes in the mile during indoor track, and the 1500 meter run outdoors. He is able to compete in various distances, however. During cross country, the men’s team races 8,000 meter races during the regular season, and 10,000 meters (6.2 miles) in championship meets.
Although Brown has been a strong runner since he started running in high school, he began to pick up momentum toward the end of the 2011 track season.
This past spring, Brown traveled with his teammates to Atlanta, Georgia, for the UAA championships. The junior finished second with a time of 4:02, against runners from Washington, Chicago and New York.
To finish out his season, Brown won D-III New England’s, racing his fastest ever 1500 meter race in 3:52.84. He was able to edge out everyone else in the field, placing first among the top 25 D-III runners in New England. In the same meet, Brown raced the 4x800 meter race finishing 8th overall.
“It was mostly the consistent training [that led to improvement]. It was the first full year I had that I didn’t take extra time off that I didn’t need. The consistency lead to the success I think,” said Brown.
“I’m just trying to continue the same training, and weekly running, because it worked so well. I think that having healthy training is the best way to improve,” he continued.
Brown hopes that his team has a successful cross country season this fall. As for the track seasons, which are focused more on individual accomplishments, Brown has set some personal goals.
“I want to try and win the Conference Meet indoors and outdoors, and improve on my time,” he said.