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State champion hurdler Brown joins Lady Owls
Olivia Brown
Effingham County’s Olivia Brown, the 2019 Class AAAAAA 100-meter hurdles champion, signs a letter of intent to attend Kennesaw State University.

SPRINGFIELD — Effingham County track athlete Olivia Brown has accepted a scholarship offer from Kennesaw State University. The 2019 graduate won the Class AAAAAA title in the 100-meter hurdles and is looking to take her winning ways to the next level.

“It feels great,” Brown said. “I am very excited about this new journey and to be at that level and get exposure.”

Brown kept a close eye on KSU, admiring its academic and athletic success from afar. Now that she is officially a Lady Owl, she is ready to make a name for herself among what is sure to be another competitive season in NCAA track and field.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Kennesaw,” Brown said. “Their academics are very good. Their track program put the icing on the cake.”

And just because Brown will be a freshman, she’s not willing to sit back and wait for her turn to contribute. She’s eager to learn but she’s also eager to win.

“Every athlete’s mentality is to be the best athlete they can and go on to win a national championship,” Brown said. “Personally, I want to learn the ins and outs. I want to get down to a very low 13 (seconds in my hurdle time). I want to be on the podium for the championships.”

The Lady Owls compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference along with North Alabama, Stetson, Jacksonville, Florida Gulf Coast, Liberty, Lipscomb, New Jersey Tech and North Florida. It’s not her conference foes that Brown is keeping her eye on, however. The former Lady Rebel knows the real competition will be the ones she runs alongside at practice.

“The people that are going to push me to do better are the people at Kennesaw,” she said. “I’m in the mix with them with my time. You can push each other to do better and want more. I am looking forward to that. I am excited.”

Brown went from nearly giving up the sport to bringing home a gold medal. It’s a life lesson she will use as motivation to succeed during the next four years.

“Just go for it,” she said. “Give it your all. I was injured at one point in time and contemplating if I could run track again.

“At this point, life it too short so do what you have to do.”