Runners prepare for big meet

Jamaica, West Indies, is known to produce runners, especially the sprinters, those who do short distance events. One, in particular, was not an outstanding short distance runner on its high school team. His name is Rohan Brown, a native of Jamaica.

In Jamaica, the sprints were his specialty. However, he also played cricket and volleyball. After his high school days were over, he stopped running.

After he landed in New York, he concentrated on his occupation as he had to work and make a living. At first, Rohan was a real estate agent. Now he is in the pharmacy department at CVS in Amityville, Long Island.

Budd Brown, who is trying to make a name for himself on the cross country team at Baldwin High School, in Long Island, where they reside, happens to be Rohan’s son.

Budd covered the 3.1 mile or 5K course, at the Sands Point Preserve in a time of 19:36 during the Bruce McDonald Invitational, named after a track and cross country coach in the Port Washington school district. Overall, Budd placed 30th in his race, and third for his school. As a team, Baldwin finished in sixth place. It marked the first time on this course, located in Port Washington, for many of the runners.

“Rohan didn’t know that I was running for a while or until I ran in the ninth grade,” said Budd, a senior at Baldwin High. “(One day) he (my father) said to me ‘I didn’t know you were running,” Budd said after the Bruce McDonald race.

“Dedication is what makes me so good,” added Budd, who finished behind teammates Oscar Zegarra’s 19:06 for 22nd place, and Joe Orselli’s 19:07 for 23rd place and ahead of Robert McKissick’s 19:39 for 34th place and Alonzo Camillli’s 20:50 for 55th position. The boys all did well and improved over last year.

“We all push each other to keep running because if we stop working hard we all fail and look bad in front of each other,” Budd said. “We all push each other whether it be cross country, winter or spring.”

Baldwin Coach Paul Schaefer was satisfied with his team’s progress after the Bruce McDonald race.

“Everybody beat their best times on a flat course,” Schaefer said. “This is far from a flat course. Our best runners (change ) from day to day. Today (in this invitational) it was Oscar. We’re in one of the toughest divisions in Section Eight. It will take everything we got to ‘make’ (qualify) for the County meet. But we will not win it this year.”

The County Meet, or State Qualifier, will take place on the first Saturday in November at Bethpage State Park. Their goal is to do a lot better than they did last year. After the County meet comes the indoor season. Budd stays in shape for the winter or indoor season by being a member of the school’s cross country team in the fall. He is a half-miler during the winter.

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