Archive for Thursday, April 20, 2006

Brown returning for KU relays

April 20, 2006

University of Arkansas senior Eric Brown will be returning home for his favorite track meet Friday.

Brown, a 2002 Baldwin High School graduate, will be the lone Razorback competing at the Kansas Relays. Brown will be throwing the javelin at 5 p.m. Friday.

"It was my favorite meet in high school, because the Kansas Relays were a big deal," Brown said.

In past years, the Kansas Relays has fallen on the same weekend as Arkansas' home meet. However, this year, the Razorbacks are building a new track facility and are not hosting their home meet.

Most of the Arkansas team will attend another meet this weekend, but Brown was granted permission to return home for the Kansas Relays.

"I thought it would be fun to come back in college," Brown said of the Kansas Relays. "I always thought I would by my senior year, but we usually have a home meet."

The news also excited Brown's father, Dan Brown.

"It was really nice to find out he could come home for a meet," D. Brown said. "He doesn't get to compete around here very often, so it's like a little homecoming for him.

"I thought that was a nice twist to it," D. Brown said. "He is a local kid who won a few meets around here in high school. A lot of his family and friends are trying to finagle their schedules to go and watch him."

E. Brown also loves the idea of being able to compete in front of friends and family.

"My parents come to many of my meets, so it's nice for them to not have to travel very far," E. Brown said. "A lot of people can come to this one. It's going to be fun."

BHS Mike Spielman said it's great that Brown has the chance to come back and compete at KU.

"It will be fun for a Baldwin High grad to come back and compete up there," Spielman said. "It will be a neat deal for him. They (KU) are kind of giving him some publicity, too."

D. Brown thought the timing of the event will also help get his son a few more fans.

"The timing is nice, because he won't compete until 5 o'clock," D. Brown said. "In high school, he would usually compete early in the morning, but this will be better for everybody."

The Kansas Relays will be the third meet this season for Brown. Two weeks ago, he competed at the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas.

Brown won the meet with a throw of 245-10, which is the nation's leading throw this spring and the third-best in Razorback history. He eclipsed the regional qualifying standard on all six of his attempts. The performance helped him capture the javelin title at the Texas Relays for the second time in the past three years. He is the only Razorback in school history to win the javelin at the Texas Relays.

"It couldn't happen to a nicer guy," Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. "He has a lot character and he has put in plenty of hard work. Hopefully that is the beginning of a great season."

Last week, E. Brown traveled to the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. At the meet, he threw 238-6 to win the javelin.

Brown helped the Razorbacks, who are a national powerhouse in track and field, win their third straight national title last season.

"Eric continues to have an outstanding senior season," McDonnell said. "He has come out of the gates performing extremely well. He will get an opportunity for a homecoming at the Kansas Relays. It will be a special opportunity for him and a fitting reward for a quality young man."

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