Ryan Brown Makes World Championships

June 28, 2009

Flotrack.org interviews with UW's three World Championships Qualifiers:

Ryan Brown

Brad Walker

Aretha Thurmond

EUGENE, Ore. - Former Husky NCAA Champion Ryan Brown, a Renton High product, is now an official member of Team USA and will be headed to the 2009 World Championships this coming August in Berlin, Germany. Brown finished third in the 800-meters on the final day of the U.S. Track & Field Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field.

Brown, a 2007 grad who claimed the 2006 NCAA Outdoor 800m title and 2007 NCAA Indoor 800m title, was running near the back of the eight-man pack on the final lap before cutting to the outside and moving up towards the front. Over the last 200 meters, Brown continued to push ahead, and down the stretch he passed 2008 Olympian Christian Smith to secure third-place and the final ticket to Worlds. Brown finished in 1:46.67 behind Nick Symmonds and four-time U.S. Champ Khadevis Robinson.

'The race was a bit slower than I thought it would be, so I was hoping to just hang on and clean up the bodies after people started dying, but I think because of the wind it didn't go out as fast as maybe people wanted it to,' Brown said to Flotrack.org. 'I was still cleaning up bodies but it was a little easier than I thought it would be.'

Brown is the first Husky runner to make Team USA for a World Championships or Olympic Games since Ja'Warren Hooker was chosen as a relay alternate in the 2000 Olympics. Hooker, however, did not compete, making Brown the first to earn his way onto a team since Jim Seymour ran the hurdles in the 1972 Olympics.

'I battled injuries earlier this season, and it's just been a steady climb to get back to where I think I can be. I'm there; this was a huge goal of mine since I stepped off the track in the semis of the Olympic Trials last year. I thought I could be in this position,' Brown told Flotrack. 'It's an honor to be on a team with (Symmonds and Robinson). Early in the season I said I want to put my name next to those two guys, because they are the standard by which we measure ourselves. And I'm right next to them right now and that's exciting.'

Huskies joining Brown in Berlin will be Brad Walker and Aretha Thurmond. Walker won the U.S. pole vault title on Saturday and is the defending World Champion. Thurmond was second in the women's discus on Thursday and will be making her fourth World Championships appearance. The World Championships will take place from Aug. 15-23.

Another top-five finish today was turned in by Mel Lawrence, who concluded her redshirt freshman track campaign with a fifth-place showing in the final of the women's steeplechase. Lawrence finished in 9:48.27.

All told, Washington athletes racked up seven Top-10 finishes at USA's: Walker (1st, men's pole vault), Thurmond (2nd, women's discus), Brown (3rd, men's 800m), Lawrence (5th, women's steeplechase), Scott Roth (tie-8th, men's pole vault), Norris Frederick (9th, men's long jump).

North of the border at the Canadian National Championships, current Huskies Brooke Pighin took second overall in the women's javelin throw, and Ryan Vu tied for third in the men's pole vault.

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