Woodsboro senior heads to state meet in 3 events
By Mike Foreman -
May 5, 2014 at 12:05 a.m.
WOODSBORO - Lionel Brown admits he owes Woodsboro athletic director Wade Miller a haircut.
Brown has become the Eagles' unofficial barber and counts his coaches, teammates and himself among his clientele.
"I've been doing it since I was little," Brown said. "I wasn't getting haircuts, and I didn't want to wait until my mom took me to the barber. I just got some clippers and started cutting my own hair. I'm all right at it, I guess."
Brown has momentarily put the shears away while he attempts to do some styling of a different kind.
Brown has qualified for the UIL Class 1A, Division I State Track and Field Meet in three events.
Brown will join his Woodsboro teammates in the 400- and 800-meter relays, and he will triple jump Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.
Brown's running ability is obvious to anyone who watched him lead the Eagles to the area playoffs while playing quarterback and in the secondary.
But his experience with triple jumping doesn't come close to the amount of time he's spent cutting hair, even though he's been just as successful.
Brown qualified for the state meet in the triple jump by setting a Region IV-1A Division I record of 46-1/2 inch in the event.
Not bad for someone who had never triple jumped in his life until a week before the District 31-1A, Division I meet.
"I made a bet with (teammate) Andy Villarreal and said I could beat him," Brown said. "I told him if I jumped better than him, I would jump at the district meet."
Brown won the district meet with a leap of 42-4 and made a slight change in his jumping mark at the regional meet.
"We gave him a little longer stride," said Woodsboro jumping coach Craig Summers. "We moved it back about a foot and a half so he could hit it a little bit better. It seemed to work perfect. I mean, he hit it perfect, so what the heck."
Brown's swift progress in the triple jump has not come as a total surprise to his coach.
"He's just a good athlete," Summers said. "They just decided to let him try it right before district, and being a great athlete, he came on over to the pit and started on basics. First phase, second phase and right on in the pit. He caught on pretty good."
Brown goes into the state meet as the second seed behind Stamford's James Washington, who had a jump of 46-7 at the regional meet.
But Summers isn't ruling anything out.
"I don't see any problem," Summers said. "He loves to compete. I know that. We were talking about it, and he even said, 'Coach, I thought maybe a 44 and not a 46.' I didn't think so either. But he hit it perfect, so maybe he can do another one this week."
Brown's progress in the triple jump could force him to delay plans to cut hair for a living. But he doesn't seem to mind.
"Triple jumping's pretty fun," Brown said. "A little heavy on your shin splints, but pretty fun."