The state records just keep on coming for Tupelo High School's Andrew Brown, the 2021 MHSAA Cross Country Middle School State Champion, as each season progresses. First, it was the 3k state record, a legendary race that Brown took out in a 5:03 mile and placed second to Saint Patrick's Tristan Davis. Then, Brown snagged the 2-mile middle school state record in 10:49. And if that wasn't enough, Brown then traveled to Huntsville, Ala. to compete in the open section of the 2021 RunningLane Championships, running with guys double his size and age. Brown completed the 5-kilometer race in a stunning time of 17 minutes and 8 seconds, another state record to add to his resume.
And now, Brown has slotted two more age group state records to his name - The indoor 800m and 1600m.
On January 22 of 2022, the Birmingham Crossplex was host to the 2022 Samford Open, a college meet that also invited unattached athletes of any age to pay the individual entry fee and compete against a mostly collegiate field. Andrew, along with older brother Taylor Brown and teammate Jaheim Bridges, jumped on the opportunity.
Andrew was slated to compete in heat four of the men's mile and heat five of the men's 800m. In those fields, Brown would be competing against runners from in-state universities Mississippi State, Jackson State, Alcorn State, as well as numerous out-of-state colleges and universities.
However, Andrew Brown did what he does every time he is on the starting line - Go out hard and hang on for dear life - A gutsy strategy for a gutsy runner.
In the men's mile, Brown came through the quarter-mile right around 1:10, which is 4:40 per mile pace. This was easily the fastest Brown had ever opened up in his young career. Against all odds, Brown invited the pain and surged on. Fast forward to 1200 meters in and 400 meters to go, Brown began to feel the hurt. He hit the 1200 meter mark at 3:45, which is dead on 5:00 mile pace. Brown was trying to break five minutes in the mile for the first time ever after just missing the barrier the race prior with a 5:00.66 at the 2022 Icebreaker Invitational. And in back-to-back meets, it looked like Brown was going to be just over the mark once again.
Then, on lap #7 (indoor, 200-meter track), Brown picked it back up and stayed on pace to barely crack the five-minute barrier. With one lap to go, he was giving it everything he had, and against all odds, Brown found a new gear. With a final lap of 35.1 seconds, Brown ran 4:57.6 for the full mile, which converts to a 4:56.1 1600m, just breaking the 7th-grade indoor state record, edging older brother Taylor Brown for that record.
And if that wasn't good enough, Andrew came back in the 800m to run 2:16.9 and took Taylor's indoor state record in that event as well.
However, even though Andrew might have stolen some of Taylor's state records, Taylor grabbed a state record of his own...
Read about Taylor Brown and Jaheim Bridges performances on the next page>>>