Brauman Enjoys Seeing Athletes Earn Olympic Gl
BY ANDRES FOCIL
ATHENS, Greece – Lance Brauman is just now entering his third year as the sprints and hurdles coach at the University of Arkansas, but he has already turned around the program and put Razorback sprinters on the map. In June Brauman guided Tyson Gay and Wallace Spearmon Jr., to NCAA individual championships in Austin, Texas. Their performances helped UA capture its 39th national title, but the success his Arkansas athletes had this past spring was only the beginning.
Over the past 10 days of track and field competition at the Olympics in Athens, Greece Brauman had 11 athletes that he used to coach at Barton County Community College representing their respective countries. Those athletes experienced a tremendous amount of success and five of them earned a total of eight medals, including four gold, two silver and two bronze. Before being hired at Arkansas Brauman was the head coach at Barton County, where he amassed 18 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) track and field championships from 1997-2002.
“It was a great experience for a lot of former athletes that I was fortunate enough to have in the past that are still continuing on in the sport and doing a really good job,” Brauman said. “Not only have they continued to succeed on the track, but they’ve all gone on to get some sort of a degree. It’s a matter of being fortunate enough to be a position to work with some very talented young people. It was a nice setting for them and it made for a great trip.”
Veronica Campbell, a former Arkansas athlete, brought home the most hardware when she won gold medals in the 200-meter dash and was the anchor for Jamaica’s 4×100-meter relay team. She also earned the bronze medal in the 100-meter dash. Aleen Bailey (South Carolina) was also a member of the winning 4×100-meter relay.
Bernard Williams (Florida) was awarded the silver medal in the 200-meter dash as a part of the USA’s sweep in the event. Derrick Brew (LSU) helped America increase its medal count when he claimed bronze in the 400 meters and ran a leg of the dominating 4×400-meter relay. John Moffitt (LSU) won the silver in the long jump.
Some might think that Brauman would have to have a complicated secret to success for coaching athletes at the biggest meet of their lives, but his advice is to keep it simple.
“You have to keep it to the point and you have to make it as much like a regular track meet as possible,” Brauman said. “If you make a bigger deal of one meet as compared to another it’s going to affect your athlete one way or another.”
Now that the track and field portion has concluded at the Olympics Brauman is on his way back to Fayetteville, Ark., where his sprinting crew will start training soon. He is looking forward to returning and excited to see what a new season will bring. His athletes feel the same way and they can rest comfortable in the fact that their coach knows more than just a thing or two about achieving Olympic dreams.
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