St. Joseph's Elise Brown Runs No. 2 All-Time 3200m! 10:31!


Most of the time, St. Joseph Academy's Elise Brown is the type of high school distance runner who is cool, calm, and collected.

However, on Thursday she was "freaking out" before running the 3200m at the D-Town Invitational where she ran 29 second personal record of 10:31. 

Brown's time ranks No. 2 all-time in Louisiana. 

Only Benton's Katlin Flattman (10:25) has run faster. Flattman's time came at the LHSAA State Outdoor Meet in 2011.

"She crushed it!," SJA distance coach Mark LaHaye said. "It was incredible to watch. She had a plan and mapped it out in her head. She was totally focused."

The only thing that didn't go according to plan, was when Brown began lapping other runners in the race. She tried to pass one on the inside and almost stepped on her.

"That was kind of hairy," LaHaye said.

Since running a 4:54 in the 1600m boys' race at the Denham Springs Relays, Brown has had her mind on running 10:30 over 3200m.

"I was looking to see what others were running over that distance and I really wanted to go for it," Brown, a Tulane University signee, said.

To calm her nerves and help motivate her, she wrote her splits on her hand, and would look down at it throughout the day on Thursday. 

But, as any great distance runners and coaches will tell you, the mental aspect of running an elite time is as important--if not more so--than the physical demands.

Mentally, Brown broke the race down in parts. 

"I definitely try to break up the race. When I look at it as a whole, I worry too much," Brown said. "So I split it up. 5:15 (first mile) and 2:37 for 800m. So four sets of 200m. Stuff like that."

Her coach and her teammates played a big part as well. 

Louisiana's HS Girls' Top 10 Times In The 3200m

310:35.93 c2010

Brown texted LaHaye during lunch on Thursday. She knew that he would be honest with her. 

"I texted him and told him I wanted to run a 10:30," Brown said. "I asked him if that was possible. He said absolutely. So that gave me a ton of confidence."

Her teammates were aware of Brown's goal.

"Michelle Daigle was yelling "10:30!" at me before the race," Brown said. "I thought this is awkward if I don't get it, but other teammates were literally spread out every 50 meters around the track and encouraged me the whole way. They are literally the reason I ran that time. It would have been impossible without them." 

Brown has two meets remaining before entering the championship season. She will run at Episcopal's Jostens meet next week before running in the Grizzly Relays the following week.

The plan is to double in the 1600m and 3200m at the Grizzly Relays where she will be running with some of the best in the state. 

Brown's plan for postseason meets has not been finalized.