(SEE VIDEO) Congratulations to Kemarley Brown, Merritt’s 2014 record breaker in the 100m, who won his heat in the first round of the 100m race in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, reports Merritt Coach Brock Drazen who traveled with him. “Kemarley’s round victory was over several elite sprinters including the USA’s Marvin Bracy,” he says. “After the 100m First Round, he advanced to the semi-finals where he came in 5th. The top two in his semi-final heat–Justin Gatlin (silver medal) and Yohan Blake (4th overall)–advanced to the final. Kemarley now begins preparation for next year’s world championships in London, England.”
Kemarley’s 100m race (videotaped by Coach Drazen):
Coach Drazen’s reflections from Rio:
This video isn’t from NBC. It’s from my little Panasonic camera, but it reflects the incredible atmosphere inside the stadium. Being in Rio was a great experience. The negative press about Zika, the crime, the water, and any and all pending disasters was blown totally out of proportion. Fear mongering…Why? –Conspiracy to control us? Ratings? Truly scared? I don’t know but when people’s first questions on my return were about Zika, crime and/or the water, it was funny. I kept thinking of the movie, The Truman Show. I’m so, so glad I went. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
Reflecting back, I remember Kemarley’s first contact in the summer of 2012 and all the challenges we met together through the ensuing two years on his way to a degree. I thought the culmination of his life’s chapter with me ended exaltedly on that Merritt graduation day in May 2014. However, to be granted this encore–this 2nd chapter–has been thoroughly enjoyable. Sharing Kemarley Brown’s Olympic journey was the thrill of a lifetime. I was so proud of him and so excited to wear my Merritt College Track polo shirt around the stadium. I love the fact that all of our future students can dream as big as possible and know that it has been done before by one of our own!