Texas A&M University has one of the largest university systems in the world- not to mention they have the fourth largest chain in the United States and #1 in the state of Texas. Also, taking center stage is the Aggies athletics program. College Station is a wonderful college town in which student-athletes not only learn and receive a great education, but they have access to great weather, training facilities, and competition.
Aaliyah Brown was certainly one of the greatest sprinters to come out of the state of Illinois. The former Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) speedster paid off all of her dividend returns from the time that she stepped on the track as a little tyke during the summer track circuit to the moment she hailed the state team trophy last May in Charleston.
The nine-time state champion Brown burned the track in all aspects in terms of US and IL marks. Take a look: 55m- 6.90/US#1/IL#1; 60m- 7.34/US#3/IL#1; 100m- 11.44 US#4/IL#2 (2012); 200m- 23.72/US#14/IL#1; 400m- 55.16/IL#4.
You of course had a hall of fame career at Lincoln-Way East. Can you sum up your four years that ultimately was one of the best of all-time boy or girl?
If I had one word to describe my four years at Lincoln Way East it would be success. I ended my high school track career with winning nine state champion titles and I helped my team win a State Championship. I am very grateful to have had such a successful high school career.
It was well documented that you wanted the all-time IHSA 100m record (w/legal wind). You came up a tad bit short during the high school portion and had a shot during the summer but chose to shut down your high school career. Do you regret not going after a few more high school records before moving on to college?
I do not regret cutting my summer short. I knew in college there were bigger and better things in store for me, so I had to get myself prepared for the next level. I showed people what I was made of in high school. Now it’s time to show them that I can shine in college too.
Moving on to college, what was your first semester like from an academic and athletic standpoint?
From an academic standpoint it was a pretty big difference from high school to college but with the help of tutors, my teammates and my academic advisor it made my transition a smooth one. On the athletic side the transition was not much of a change. My dad is a great coach and to leave him and go to Coach Vince [Anderson] they have a lot in common. I am able to talk to Coach Vince as he is a great coach. I opened my first meet with a 7.36 which is my personal best, so I am excited to see what this year has in store for me. I could not have made a better choice in a school.
What are you majoring in? What do you want to do with yourself after athletics are over? Do you have a favorite class?
I am majoring in Kinesiology. I plan on being a Physical Therapist after my track career. I don't really have a favorite class as of now lol.
Now that you are away from your dad/childhood coach now, what were initial feelings? Did you get separation anxiety or homesick?
Having my dad (Angelo Brown) as my coach for my entire career I was a little nervous in leaving him, but I knew Coach Vince was a great coach so those feeling went away as time went on. I didn’t experience any separation anxiety or anything like that. I was confident in myself that I could take care of myself and I knew my parents taught me good life lessons.
Why did you pick Texas A&M over virtually every school in the USA wanting you?
I picked Texas A&M because when I went to [visit the] school I fell in love. I had a good connection with the team and both Coach Vince and Head Coach [Pat] Henry. Also, [A&M] is a great academic school, so I knew they would take care of me for my life after athletics.
What events are you going to concentrate in? What goals do you have for the year?
I am going to concentrate on the 100, 200, and 4x100 relay. My goal for this year is to help my team win a NCAA Championship.
Career goals in track and field?
My career goals for track and field are to make the 2016 Olympic team and to one day win a gold medal in the Olympic Games.
Tell us about having a roommate and college life. How is she and do you have fun outside of school and sports?
Having a roommate in college is good because we get to help each other with our problems. Me and my roommate are able to talk about anything and we get along very well. I love hanging out with my teammates so anytime I am with them I have fun.
Favorite restaurant in College Station?
You were “The Franchise” in high school. What moniker are you going to use for college?
I am not sure on what name I will use in college. Hopefully I can keep the Franchise name going!
- We want to thank Aaliyah for participating in the Texas Three-Step interview series in which we chronicled three Texas A&M freshman who hail from Illinois. In addition, we would like to wish Aaliyah the very best in the classroom as well as on the track for the upcoming semester and season.