Skip to content

Running down records at Albany High

April 24, 2012

by Marlee Wood

With her next outdoor league meet coming up on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Albany High, 18-year-old Albany High women’s track and field runner, Natasia Brown, is hard at work trying to break another school record.

Brown and her team blew away the competition finishing first and second in almost every race when they traveled last week to Amsterdam and competed against both Amsterdam High School and Bishop Maginn.

Brown training in the weight room after practice/Marlee Wood

Brown and her team will compete in their first home meet of the outdoor season Wednesday when they face opponents from both Schenectady and Troy High schools.

The Albany High women’s track and field team now holds the leading times in Section II for the 100 meter dash, 4×100 meter relay, and the 200 meter dash. The team qualified for the state meet with times of 12.1 seconds by Brown in the 100 meter; 49.84 seconds by Brown and teammates, Uzeoshi Blessing, Quimoni Chandler, Kiniqua Marable in the 4×100 meter relay; and 25.1 seconds and 26.1 seconds by Brown and Blessing in the 200 meter dash.

The team’s biggest success of last week’s meet came from Brown during the 4×400 meter relay where she guaranteed a first place finish running an opening leg of 56.39, giving her team a 100 meter lead ahead of their competitors.

Brown, who is co-captain of the Albany High women’s track and field team, is confident that her relay team’s outdoor season will be as successful as their past indoor season.

During the indoor season, Brown broke a 16- year -old 55 meter dash Albany High record on February 28th at the Eastern State Tournament at The Armory Track and Field Center in New York City. Brown ran the dash in only 7.28 seconds, shaving .06 seconds off the 1996 record.

“It feels like I’m already famous, people come up to me and are like ‘hey track star.’ It feels great,” said Brown.
Breaking only one record was not enough. In that very same day Brown and her 4×200 relay team broke another long held record for Albany High.  Brown and her team set an entirely new record for the indoor competition, breaking the outdoor record of 1:53.00 by almost a full 10 seconds with a time of 1:43.90. Then, just a week later, on March 3rd, the team went on to be the first Albany High 4×200 relay team to attend the state tournament held at Cornell University in Ithaca. They finished 4th out of the 60 schools that competed. It was also the first time since 1998 that a member of the women’s indoor track team has qualified for states.

Left to Right: Natasia Brown, Jalessa Montaque, Quimoni Chandler outside the gym at Albany High/Marlee Wood

Although she and her team are extremely proud of their achievements, Brown will not stop there. She aspires to break her current 55 meter dash record, the 100 meter dash record at Albany High, and the Section II record for the 55 meter dash.

Brown credits her team and her coach for her accomplishments. She  said that they are one big family, they yell at each other and support one another. The team acts as support system not only with track and field, but with academics as well. Brown herself has become a role model for younger athletes on the team.

“Natasia inspires me to do better, she’s like my big sister. I am an only child and I now have someone I can look up to,” said teammate Jalessa Montaque. “When times get bad, Natasia always gives me advice.”
Brown said that running has changed her life. It has given her the courage and the confidence she needed to realize that she can do anything she puts her mind to. Her team membership has motivated her to stay in school. She even got accepted into the career explorations program for communication and performing arts, a program that accepts only 15 students a year who are able leave school for four periods of the day to learn about the theater arts. Brown has also been training for a job at the new Shop Rite across from Price Chopper on Central Avenue.

“Running has changed me as a person. If I didn’t join the track and field team, I would have dropped out of school. It motivated me, I even ran for junior class president and was chosen to help the superintendent of our school choose a new superintendent,” said Brown.

Track has given Brown so much that she decided she was going to help others  learn the importance of working hard and achieving goals. She became a youth advocate for Albany High’s program for the AIDS Council, called “Real Talk.” Real Talk is a program that allows freshmen to listen to upperclassmen talk about real life high school situations. It gives freshmen an opportunity to ask questions and learn the value of obtaining an education and provides them with someone they can look up to throughout their high school careers.
“I joined Real Talk because I wanted to be a role model to freshmen. I wanted to show them why it’s important to stay in school,” said Brown.
Brown’s track and field coach, Rickardo Smith has also seen a complete turnaround in Brown since she joined the team. He remembers the time when he first met Brown when he taught at Harriet Gibbons high school where she spent a troublesome freshmen year. Smith said to her “you’re a sprinter” and when asked how he knew, he said simply that she looked like one. He told her that she should compete and she looked at him and said only if you coach me.

Smith said that Brown has come a long way from her days at Harriet Gibbons and that she is a pleasure to coach. He expects her to break at least two records every meet. Smith said that Brown is an unpredictable, very fast, excellent competitor, and she is extremely dedicated and very hard working.

Left to Right:Brown and Montaque in the weight room at Albany High/Marlee Wood

“Natasia trains hard and wins easy,” said Smith “Put her up against a tough competitor, let her lose and she’ll work 10 times as hard not to lose again.”

Brown lives in Arbor Hill and developed a love of running at a young age. She first started running in 1st grade at Arbor Hill Elementary and enjoyed running in the track meets for the Albany PAL program at SUNY Albany in 5th and 6th grade during her years at School 19. She pursued her love for running up until the 2009-2010 school year when she stopped for medical reasons.

Brown started running again during the spring of 2011 outdoor season at Albany High. She trains with her team every day Monday through Friday and on her own time every other weekend.

As for now, Brown is running the spring outdoor season, and training for the cross country season in August. Eventually she hopes to get recognized and receive a track and field scholarship to a Division 1 school.

“When high school is over, I want college to hurry up and get here, so I can run again,” said Brown. -30-



From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: