Will Brown’s running career at Pope was a plateau of highlights.
He ran cross country and track all four years, and last fall he became the first Pope runner to score at four cross country state races.
He was at such a high that he was ready to get back to running when his track season was put on a two-week break because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Brown was at track practice when his coaches told him there would be a gap in their season, but they assured him that they needed to continue to train hard because the season was not over.
“At first I just thought it could be everyone’s new flavor of the week and it’ll all pass in the two weeks,” said Brown, who earned a fifth place state finish his freshman year, which he said was completely by accident by a young runner. “But in the back of my mind I thought, ‘this could get out of control.’”
Even as the season ended prematurely, Brown said he is still training like he is going to continue running. He will be attending the University of Mississippi in the fall to study accounting and earn his CPA, and he hopes to earn a walk-on spot on the track team or run for the school’s club team.
Brown said he was around 13 years old when he realized accounting might be good for him.
“My dad told me I was good with numbers, but just not higher math,” Brown joked.
Brown said he remembers his high school career fondly, but his senior cross country season sticks out the most. His Wingfoot XC Classic was the first time he broke a 16-minute 5K.
“It was this night race where they’d bring out portable stadium lights so we didn’t trip over each other,” Brown said. “I actually thought I was doing horribly… but I turned the last corner and heard ‘current time is 15:26’ and just thought, ‘Go, go, go.’”