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Interval Session #28 - Brittany Borman
January 24, 2008

You look on the 2007 outdoor shot put list first for Brittany Borman’s name, because that’s the event where she caught your attention first, with her US#3 46-11.25 last weekend at Carl Lewis, and you’re curious how she ranks on the list of returnees … Ok, #10, not bad. You look on the discus list, ok, #13 … then you remember, does she throw the jav? Oh, geez, she’s #6 in that! The shot and disc aren’t even her best events!

And you know she’s a 5-6 high-jumper, too (5-4 at Carl Lewis), and you’re getting really impressed. Naturally, you check the heptathlon list and, yep, there she is, #2 behind Ryann Krais.

Among the very best heptathletes, it seems more often than not that the hurdles and jumps are the best events. But in Brittany, you have someone who can throw anything and everything (note to self: ask her if she’s thrown the hammer), but can really jump and run pretty well, too.

Then there’s also this: When you see “heptathlon” and “St. Louis,” there’s an automatic connection for any long-time, serious track fan. The event’s greatest ever, Jackie Joyner-Kersee is from, well, East St. Louis IL. And when you see that Borman, a Festus MO senior (south of St. Louis), is headed to UCLA, where JJK really became JJK … well, it’s not hard to see the path of inspiration for this talented, all-around athlete.

So, DyeStat news editor SteveU heads down into Middle America, ducks the flying implements and catches Brittany during a rare break to hear more about her story.

1. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Brittany. Congratulations on your performances at Carl Lewis! Was that your shot PR and pretty close to your HJ PR? I’m guessing that was your first meet or pretty close to it. How do you feel about performances like that in January?

Yes, this was my shot put PR and very close to my high jump PR (my high jump PR is 5-6). I think these performances were ok, but I hope to improve a lot more this season. My personal goals are to throw 51 feet, jump 5-8 in the high jump, and to break 5000 points in the heptathlon this track season.

2. I read where now that you had chosen UCLA and enrolled yourself in the idea of year-round track, you decided not to play basketball this winter. Was that a tough decision for you (even though it may be paying dividends)?

To focus on my upcoming season in track, I gave up both volleyball and basketball this year. This fall I ran cross country to enhance my endurance and have started a new lifting program with the help of my high school coaches and Coach Edwards from Marquette High School.

3. You’ve said it’s been your dream since you were a little girl to go to UCLA. How did that become a wish of yours at such a young age?

I started track at the age of six competing in the triathlon – and fell in love with it. After moving from the triathlon to the pentathlon, and later the heptathlon, I became knowledgeable in the event. Being a heptathlete, I always looked up to Jackie Joyner Kersee, who is from East St. Louis and competed at UCLA. Having such a strong program, with dedicated and talented coaches for so long, made UCLA even more of a dream opportunity.

4. I see where your mom is an officer with the club you compete with. Would it be correct to assume that track has been something you’ve been involved with a long time and was part of the fabric of your family growing up? Tell us about sports and track in the Borman household and how your interests and aptitude first developed in the sport.

When I was young, I always loved to run and jump at the playground. A high school friend of my mom’s, Coach Bingham, convinced my mom to sign me up for the Jets. She later became the president of the club and my dad became one of the coaches. Later, my sisters decided to run track also. Track and field helped tie our family together because everyone is involved. Our family vacations are always centered around where the national track meets are located each summer.

5. You seem to have the amazing ability both to throw far – with (at least) three implements – and yet jump high as well. How did you become interested and develop in those diverse events. And how did doing the multis develop as an interest?

Since I was little I have always wanted to do everything all the time. I can’t just sit around without getting bored. It’s the same concept in track; I always have to be moving and trying new things.

6. Going into college, do you consider yourself more of a thrower or a heptathlete? Are the coaches at UCLA going to start by encouraging you to do both?

Going into college, I hope to try as many things as possible. I love the heptathlon, but I also love the throws. Luckily, I can do both, considering the heptathlon consists of both the shot put and the javelin. Although I realize that I will eventually have to narrow my events down, the coaches at UCLA have been very supportive, and have encouraged my interest in trying to compete in both the heptathlon and the throws. This will give me a unique chance to experience several different aspects of collegiate track.

7. We’ve touched on your strongest events. Tell us how the rest of the hept events are for you? Hurdles? Sprints? 800? Long jump? How do you structure your training to develop in all of these areas?

Since most of my focus hasn’t been on events such as the sprints and hurdles, I haven’t dedicated the time to these events like I have the throws and high jump. In spring track, the team has needed me the most in the throwing areas; therefore, I haven’t been able to start training for the other events until the summer. Now that I’ve started to train year round, I have been able to focus on these events a little more. Although I realize it will take time to develop these areas, I’m willing to put in the work.

8. Tell us about your coaching situation. Do you train all the time with your Jets club coaches, or is there a “high school” coach in the picture, too? How has that evolved and how do you work it out? Also, tell us about Festus, Missouri, and what it’s like to train and live there?

I have been very fortunate when it comes to my coaching. Both my dad and Coach Bingham have been coaching me since I was six years old. Coach Bingham is an excellent technical coach and has helped me, as well as many other athletes, to develop their skills incredibly throughout the years. He has helped me to compete at the top levels against many great athletes. My dad has always supported me and the other members of our club team, and has also helped guide me both on and off the track.

My high school coaches are definitely in the picture. They are very skilled coaches that have done a great job of preparing our school team for many years. Coach Crites (my high school’s head track coach) has not only helped me to get in shape and improve my throws, but has also helped teach me how to mentally prepare for competitions. Coach Edwards from Marquette High School has also been a great help in the throws. I am very thankful for all of the time and effort my coaches have put into my training.

Festus, Missouri is a very small town south of St. Louis. There is not a lot to do there, so sports have been my main source of entertainment. The weather does not allow for much outdoor training during the winter months, and now that I have given up basketball, I can do indoor track training in a small elementary gymnasium..

9. Finally, although I’m sure your training for multiple events must be very time-consuming, I know you find time for school and (at least a little) social life. What are your academic interests and aptitude, and what does Brittany like to do during those rare moments of free time?

I plan to major in pre med in college, which will eventually allow me to attend medical school. I love to help people and plan to travel on religious mission trips worldwide once I finish my degree. To be honest, between my training and academics, I really don’t have much free time. The little time I have I like to hang out with my friends and family. I love to be outdoors where I can stay active!

Photos by John Dye

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