U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials 2024

Inspiring Stories From Trials: Brittany Brown's Positive Karma In The 200m

Inspiring Stories From Trials: Brittany Brown's Positive Karma In The 200m

We're calling back to the conclusion of the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon, with a selection of inspiring stories.

Jul 8, 2024 by Cory Mull

A little more than a month ago in May, Brittany Brown found herself in front of a microphone. 

The California native, 29, had just clocked a season best in the 200 meters in Oslo, Norway, winning her Diamond League race in 22.32 seconds. 

Only, she had done it out of lane eight. 

Brown wasn't new to track and field. With a PR of 21.99, a World Championship silver medal from 2019 and a history of 22-second 200 meter races under her belt, she felt like she had proven herself in the sport. And, well, she felt like she had earned a better lane assignment. 

That did not come. So Brown sounded off.

"You know, I went back and forth with my agent about getting a different lane," she said. "And the meet director said no. I felt like I deserved to have a better lane. You know, they did it off world rankings. You know, I didn’t run a lot last year. But, I’m a 22.0 girl on a good day. I’m a 22.3 girl in lane eight day. So, I just have to say. If you want me to come out here and run the 200m, don’t put me in lane eight. I don’t ask for much. I don’t really talk that much. You barely hear from me. I don’t even say nothing. I just want a little respect. I don’t want a lot, ya’ll. I just want a little. So next time you want me to come out here, just please. I’m not asking for money. I did that out of lane eight. I want more. That’s all I have to say." 

Brown's interview gained traction on YouTube and was viewed nearly 200,000 times, sparking positive encouragement from those finding it across the globe. But her outcry didn't quite help at the U.S. Olympic Trials. 

Not a month later, the Track Gods may have had a sense of humor, because by the time Brown found herself in the women's 200 meter final on June 29 at Hayward Field in Eugene, she was positioned out in lane nine this time. 

This time around, though, Brown took it in stride, clocking an overall career best of 21.90 (+0.6) seconds to secure her position on the U.S. Olympic team for the first time and her third U.S. team overall, following successful attempts in 2019 and 2022. 

"What I was saying earlier this year, I didn’t like the world rankings system sometimes," Brown said, relaying her feelings from Oslo. "Sometimes I think it just can be not equitable for everybody. I think we’re all here to run in any lane. That’s our job. I showed that in Oslo. I showed that here. Whatever lane."

Operating aggressively on her front-end, Brown came through the curve only slight behind Gabby Thomas and used that momentum to carry her through the straightaway. 

"Give me an opportunity, give me a chance, I’m a competitor, I show up."

She was second overall, while Thomas earned her third U.S. title in 21.81 and collegian McKenzie Long was third in 21.91, leaving U.S. 100m winner Sha'Carri Richardson on the outside looking in -- she finished fourth in 22.16.

"I think a lot of things went right," Brown said. "I think sometimes when you don’t see people, you really focus on yourself and what you can do. I feel like I had a great start. And my coach said that was the most executed race I’ve run with him so far. I was really happy with that compliment." 

The success was another reminder to Brown that she had made the right decision to represent the U.S. in 2019, even it may have been an easier road to compete for Belize, the Central American country for which her father had ties to. 

"The U.S. team is so hard," she said. "But I'm on my third team I've made. I made a world team last year in the 100m. 2019, I made the world team in the 200m. And this year, I made the second team in the 200m. I think I made a good choice." 

The journey did not lack its obstacles, though. 

Brown said she needed to inject Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections into her pelvis beginning in 2023 and up through the U.S. Trials. 

"I had a sports hernia and I had injections in my pelvis, so probably the most painful injections in my life," she said.  

Those trying periods aside, Brown executed when the moment counted, whether it was lane nine or otherwise.

"Give me an opportunity, give me a chance, I’m a competitor, I show up," she said. "I want to compete, I want to run  hard. I have a great field of ladies that I get to compete against all the time. This U.S. team is the hardest team to make." 

Whether it was Positive Karma, Good JuJu, or something else, Brown was better for the experience. And now she's headed to Paris. 

When Are The Paris 2024 Olympic Games?

The Olympics begin on July 26 and end on August 11. The track and field events will begin on Aug. 1. 

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