Originally created 06/12/06

Brown uses meet as a test



LaSwann Brown was competing at national track and field meets, zipping by her opponents and sprinting past expectations.

But then, after starting to compete in hurdles events nearly two years ago, she met a different foe.

"One of my hip flexors kept popping in and out of place, and then the next week the other one broke down," Brown said.

When she competed at the GHSA state meet earlier this spring for A.R. Johnson High School, it was the beginning of a comeback.

Competing in the AAU State Meet, which wrapped up Sunday afternoon at Westside High School, was the next step.

"When I came back, it seemed like everybody was saying, 'We have people that can beat her now,'" Brown said.

"It really bothered me, and I wanted to quit because I was used to winning and going to nationals. But I worked hard, and I made it through."

Brown finished fourth in the triple jump Friday to advance to the regional meet in Savannah, Ga., later this month. She also advanced in the 400-meter dash Sunday morning before just missing on a third qualification in the 200.

Brown and the homestanding Augusta Flyers club held their own despite having only 18 athletes competing against bigger clubs from Atlanta.

"About 10 years ago, the Flyers had about 60 members," said seventh-year president George Taylor. "I know there are other activities that kids around here are involved with. Our membership ebbs and flows just like any other organization."

The club ended the day on a high note as well, as the 1,600-meter relay team, consisting of Brown, India Boyd, Latoya Marion and Quinessa Parris, finished third to also advance to the regional meet.

On the boys' side, Anthony Taylor had quite a day. Also a member of the Westside High track team, Taylor advanced in three events.

After a runner-up finish in the GHSA meet in May, Taylor won the long jump this time and also qualified in the 200 and 400.

"When I found out (the meet was at Westside), I just knew I would have to be ready," Taylor said.

"It's great running at my home track. There was a lot of excitement with my home crowd cheering me on."

Reach Justin Williams at justin.williams@augustachronicle.com.