SHE has been out of action for the past year, recuperating from surgery to repair her rotator cuff. But now Serena Brown has settled in at the University of Iowa where she expects to make an impact in the Big 10 Conference for the Hawkeyes, making the switch from the Texas A&M Aggies and the Southeastern Conference.
“I think it’s going to be a great transition for Serena,” said Hawkeyes’ head coach Eric Werskey as he welcomes Brown to Iowa.
“She brings a lot of talent to an already talented group of young ladies. Just speaking to her and her parents, they have some high expectations for her and with the calibre of athletes that we have, they are going to push her to those heights.
“I think she’s a great kid. She’s super sweet and seemed very determined to work hard and to come in and throw the discus as far as she can and to represent the Bahamas in as many international meets as she can. Those are goals that were presented to me and I think what we are doing here, we can get her to a point to achieve those things.”
Over the weekend, Brown was getting accustomed to her new environment, having members of the Hawkeyes’ team join her as she unpacked her belongings. “My expectations and my goals are the same,” said Brown, who is looking forward to orientation this week.
“I feel that I can do it here. It’s a different environment, a fresh start, but I’m looking forward to a great year.”
In order of occurrences, Brown said she just simply wants to make her presence felt in the Big Ten Conference (May 15-17) in Madison, Wisconsin, make it to the NCAA Outdoor Championships (June 10-13) in Austin, Texas and eventually qualify for the Olympic Games to represent the Bahamas in Tokyo, Japan, July 24 to August 9.
The business major said she’s quite content with the atmosphere she finds herself in.
“I like it a lot,” she said. “The medical staff is awesome. They have a big hospital right on campus. They have a lot of technology here, so I really like it.”
With the injury all healed up since completing the surgery, Brown said she’s eager to get on the track and prove herself as she gets into the swing of things outdoors.
Werskey said after watching her performance at Texas A&M where she established the Bahamian national record in the discus with a toss of 198-feet, 1-inch or 60.39 metres in 2018, all he wants is for Brown to be consistent and with consistency will come to the better throws.
“She hasn’t competed in over a year, so just being able to get her in a base training, get her to feel comfortable in what she is doing, she will be able to take care of the projections that we have set for her,” he stated. “She’s going to be very competitive at multiple levels. It’s just a matter of getting her really confident and healthy and the results will take care of itself.”
Having fallen shy of clearing 200-feet in the discus, Brown said she would like to attain that mark this year.
“Once I do that, whatever happens after that is just a step in the right direction,” she pointed out. “I just want to be able to make a great comeback this year.”
Coming into Iowa, Werskey said the plan is to red-shirt Brown for the indoor season so she won’t be in the competition until March when the outdoor season gets underway.
“When she decided that she wanted to come here, she created a plan to go back home and get her bearing a little bit and I know that she stayed active when she was there, getting some drills from coach Corrington Maycock a lot and they were reporting back to me, which was awesome,” he said. “We will take about three and-a-half months to get her situated and I will tweak a few things on her.
“But she is already a great athlete. It’s just a matter of feeling it out and getting a few reps under her belt and she will be fine.”
Brown is the first athlete whom Werskey has coached and he’s hoping that because of the relationship he has developed with her and coach Maycock, he hopes to recruit a few more athletes in the future.
But for now, Werskey said he wants to get Brown to the level where she will be a force to reckon with both in college and on the international scene.
With the environment she finds herself in, Brown said she can only get better.
“When I was unpacking my stuff, the whole squad came and helped me out, which was really nice,” she said. “So it’s a good start. It’s nice to be around so many good people and I and the coach are really cool, so I am really enjoying it.”
Brown, a graduate of St Augustine’s College, is the daughter of Whittington and Sonjia Brown.