Three weeks ago, Guyer senior Brynn Brown had no idea where she would be attending college.
One of the top runners in the country, Brown was courted by a bevy of prestigious programs, including Notre Dame, Oregon, Arkansas, Duke and North Carolina.
But a Zoom meeting with the Tar Heels last week changed everything. Brown felt an immediate connection with North Carolina’s track and distance program, and on Monday morning she announced her commitment to the Tar Heels via Twitter.
“I didn’t really expect to make a decision this early,” Brown said. “I just felt something click. I really felt like that’s where I wanted to be. Why wait? I got the offer and accepted. And here I am now. It’s been an exciting past 48 hours.”
Brown said growing up, she was an avid soccer player and followed Tobin Heath during her career at North Carolina. Heath went on to play professionally and as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, winning the FIFA World Cup in 2015 and 2019.
“I guess I got [to North Carolina] another way,” Brown joked. “I just loved the coaches. I loved everything about it — academics, the coaches, and the girls are amazing. I knew the soccer side before, but I’m really happy I got to know the running side of North Carolina.”
Now an elite runner, Brown boasts one of the most prolific high school resumes in the nation. Earlier this summer, she was named the Gatorade Texas Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year for 2019-20.
As a sophomore in 2018-19, Brown won the Class 6A title in the 3,200, clocking a 10:09.91. Earlier that season in cross country, she was the 6A runner-up.
“Every accomplishment is great, and I’m super grateful and blessed,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t trade my experiences at Guyer for the world. The coaches are amazing. There is an expectation every day that you’re going to put in the work and get better, not just for yourself, but to build a program, culture and team.”
This past year as a junior, Brown missed the district cross-country championships with a stress fracture in her foot, and she did not get the chance to run at the state meet.
After recovering, Brown shattered the Texas A&M High School Classic 2-mile meet record in January, turning in a 10:08.11. Her time was the best in the country among prep indoor competitors.
“We have had our fair share of struggles, failures and injuries,” Guyer cross-country coach Jonathan Ponsonby said. “These setbacks have motivated her and taught her that every step, every breath and every heartbeat are a gift and need to be appreciated every day.
“Helping her navigate those waters has been humbling and rewarding. I look forward to witnessing what her and her teammates accomplish together this season.”
Later in February, Brown posted a 9:58.98 in the 3,200 at the Coppell Relays. The performance ranks as the fastest girls time in state history and 12th in the nation all-time.
Brown’s time trial of 9:39.28 in the 3,200 would have broken the national record by 8 seconds, but the remainder of the high school track season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Proud and excited are both understatements,” Guyer girls track and field coach Megan Sprabeary said. “Brynn is not just an incredibly talented athlete but also an amazing young woman. She has given so much to the track program throughout her high school career.”
Now, Brown will get the chance to finish her career at Guyer on a high note. And when her time in Denton is over, Brown will be running on one of the biggest stages in the country.
“It means the world,” Brown said. “I’ve always dreamed of this. It’s kind of surreal that it’s all happening and unfolding. I’m super excited.”