Brown Excited To Don Cyclone Uniform
AMES, Iowa – The gun will fire at 1:10 p.m. CT on Saturday to start the Jack Johnson women’s race at the Roy Griak Invitational, marking the first collegiate race for Iowa State freshman Bethanie Brown.
Brown was a highly decorated high school track and cross country star in Maine, accumulating 17 state titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field, so she is no stranger to the big stage. Even with her resume, it’s impossible to ignore the emotion of her first race in a Cyclone uniform.
“I’m definitely nervous because it’s my first college race,” Brown said. “I know it’s going to be packed with people and will be a lot larger than any other race I’ve been in. Also, in Maine you don’t have a pack of girls running together for even the first mile, so this will be very interesting. I’m very excited. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Adjusting to the college workload on the course has been a welcomed challenge for the Waterford, Maine, native.
“It’s been great,” Brown said. “It’s been pretty intense with the workouts being a lot larger in volume than what I’m used to with mileage, but I think I’ve adjusted pretty well. I just have to tell myself to keep in there and stay up with the other girls. I really like the team and Coach [Grove-McDonough], and the facilities here are great.”
Iowa State women’s head cross country coach Andrea Grove-McDonough has been very pleased with Brown’s attitude and performance in practice this season.
“She’s been really solid,” Grove-McDonough said. “She’s been steadily improving week to week. Right away, she stuck her nose in with the upperclassmen.”
One of Brown’s attributes that really impressed assistant coach Will Palmer has been her maturity.
“She’s shown a lot of maturity on and off the course, which is something you hope to see from someone straight out of high school,” Palmer said. “She’s shown a very mature attitude and felt like she belonged with our top group the whole time.”
The Cyclone women have competed in two meets this season, running some of the younger and developing members at the Bulldog 4K Classic and the Iowa Black and Gold Invitational. Cheering from the sidelines hasn’t been easy for Brown.
“I went to Iowa City and watched,” she said. “Even though I had already put in a workout that day, I was really anxious to run. I just wanted to get out and go. I feel good right now. I feel strong and I’ve had some good workouts. I’m ready.”
Grove-McDonough understands the emotion going into the first race.
“All I really expect from Bethanie is for her to race tough and keep her composure,” Grove-McDonough said. “That will be big for her, being her first college race and first time in a Cyclone uniform. That being said, I expect her to do that because that’s who she is. She’s a tough, tenacious kid. I think she’s excited about it, which is what I want from her. I don’t want her to feel too much pressure going in.”
Superstitions are things that can help runners keep their emotions in check. Often times, establishing a routine aids in managing nerves. Brown has developed only one superstition over the years.
“Pretty much the only thing for me is I like to eat eggs the morning of every race,” Brown said with a smile. “So, hopefully the place we stay at has eggs.”