CROSS RIVER, N.Y. – Kitanya Brown was a member of the John Jay track and field team, specializing in the 200-meter dash.
How are you getting through this period of social distancing? What are you doing to keep busy?
I wouldn’t say that I am being socially distant because I go to work almost every single day. I work at a grocery store and I do my best to help everyone in my community. I am also being safe by wearing my mask and gloves.
When did you start running and what got you started?
I started running when I was in middle school. My mom was a runner, so I felt like I should be a runner too. Turns out I was pretty good at it. With the support from the coaches, teammates and my mom, I saw track as the most important thing in my life. I don’t have the best hand-eye coordination for sports with balls but put me on the track and I will do just fine.
What is your favorite event and why?
My favorite event is the 200-meter dash because it is the perfect sprinting distance. The 100-meter dash feels too short and the 400-meter dash is way too long.
What is your favorite sports memory from your time at John Jay?
My favorite sports memory was my first time running at Glenn D. Loucks Games.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
The biggest role model in my life is Usain Bolt. Known as the fastest man alive, he defines sports and is a big symbol in Jamaica. Watching him train, overcome obstacles, and win several gold medals, has inspired me to train harder and harder every day.
“I think you get to a point as an athlete where it becomes less about competing against others and more about competing against yourself.” —Usain Bolt
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
What are your post-high school plans, athletically and academically?
My post-high school plans are going to SUNY Oneonta and majoring in early childhood education. I will also be running on the track team.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could have one superpower it would be to fly so that I can go anywhere I want.
What is something about yourself people would be surprised to learn?
Something that people are surprised to learn about me is that I am Jamaican. I don’t have an accent anymore, so it isn’t as obvious. I lived in Jamaica for six years before I moved to the United States.
What place would you most like to visit?
I would most likely visit Japan.
What is your favorite place to eat locally?
My favorite place to eat is Empire Bagels.
What’s the go-to app on your phone and why?
My go-to app on my phone Hay Day, because it’s relaxing and fun.
Are you currently binging anything?
I am currently binging the show “YOU.”
For a young athlete growing up in the John Jay school district, what would you tell them about the experience of being on the track and field and why should they go out for it?
The track team is my second family. The coaches and my teammates have been so supportive to me over the years and I am forever grateful. The coaches are always there to push you to become your best. You will always have someone to cheer you on. Track has introduced me to new friends I will never forget and endless memories.
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