Donavan Brazier
Brazier-crop.png
Personal information
NationalityAmerican
Born (1997-04-15) April 15, 1997 (age 25)
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight165 lb (75 kg)
Sport
CountryUnited States
SportTrack
Event(s)800 meters
College teamTexas A&M Aggies
Coached byPete Julian
Achievements and titles
World finals2017
800 m, 12th (sf)
2019
800 m,  Gold
Personal best(s)

Donavan Brazier (born April 15, 1997) is an American middle-distance runner. He holds the American junior record and American record in men's 800 meters and won the gold medal at the 2019 World Championships.

Athletics career

Youth

In 2014, his junior year at Kenowa Hills High School, Brazier won the 800 meters at the New Balance national scholastic championships in 1:48.61; his time was a new Michigan state record.[2][3] His times continued the drop in his senior year; he ran a 45.92 split on a 4 × 400 meters relay and improved his 800-meter best to 1:47.55, placing him fourth on the all-time national high school list.[2][4] Brazier ran 1:47.55 in June 2015 at 800 meters at Seattle Brooks PR. Brazier competed in the 800 meters at 2015 USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships but was disqualified.[5] In summer 2015, Brazier attempted to earn an opportunity to represent United States on his first national team as a junior (U20) at 2015 Pan American Junior Athletics Championships to compete in the 800 m.[6]

Collegiate

After graduating from high school after the 2015 season Brazier went to Texas A&M University, where he was coached by former top runner Alleyne Francique and head coach Pat Henry.[3] He ran 1:45.92 in his collegiate debut race on January 16, 2016, breaking John Marshall's American junior indoor record by almost two seconds; the time was also a NACAC junior indoor record, and missed the American collegiate record by only 0.05 seconds.[4][note 1] He won the 2016 SEC indoor championship in 1:46.08, but failed to finish his heat at the NCAA indoor championships due to a back injury.[8][9]

Brazier returned to action outdoors, but needed several meets to return to top shape.[9] He placed third at the SEC outdoor championships in 1:46.19, half a second behind Mississippi State's Brandon McBride.[8] At the NCAA outdoor championships in Eugene Brazier won his semi-final in a personal best 1:45.07.[9] The final was a rematch between Brazier and McBride; McBride led for most of the way, but Brazier passed him with 150 meters to go and won in 1:43.55.[10] The time was a new collegiate record,[11] American Junior and NACAC junior record and world junior (U20) leader;[12] the previous American junior outdoor record was Jim Ryun's 1:44.3/1:44.9y, set exactly fifty years earlier on June 10, 1966.[13]

Professional

Brazier turned professional after his NCAA victory, signing an endorsement deal with Nike and forgoing his three remaining years of collegiate eligibility.[14][15] Brazier finished 19th in 800 meters at 2016 USATF Olympic Trials in 1:48.13.[16] Donavan Brazier reconnected with his coach from Texas A&M University (Grenada’s top 400 m runner Alleyne Francique).[17] At the 2017 National Championships, he followed Eric Sowinski's early kick into a breakaway position and held his pace as Sowinski faded to win his first National Championship, thus qualifying for the World Championships.

Wesley Vasquez and Donavan Brazier in the 600 meters race at the 2020 Gyulai Memorial in Szekesfehervar, Hungary
Wesley Vasquez and Donavan Brazier in the 600 meters race at the 2020 Gyulai Memorial in Szekesfehervar, Hungary

On August 29, 2019, Brazier set a new 800 meter personal best of 1:42.70 en route to winning the Diamond League meet in Zurich, Switzerland. In this race, Brazier demonstrated phenomenal finishing speed by overtaking Botswanan runner Nijel Amos in the last 30 meters, who had attempted the race at world record pace.[18]

On October 1, 2019, Brazier won the 800 meter at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. His time of 1:42.34 was a championships record and a new American record, surpassing Johnny Gray's 1:42.60 from 1985.[19] At the end of the season, Brazier was selected for the Jesse Owens Award.[20]

On February 8, 2020, Brazier set the American indoor 800 meter record in a time of 1:44.22. He opened his 2020 season, in a 1500 meters 2020 world lead of 3:35.85. In August he ran another 2020 world lead in the 800 meters of 1:43.15.

On February 13, 2021, Brazier ran 1:44.21 in the 800m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in New York City to lower his own American indoor record in the event by .01.

Personal Bests

Event Time Date Location Notes
Outdoor 400 m 47.02 9 April 2016 Tempe, Arizona
800 m 1:42.34 1 October 2019 Doha, Qatar AR, NR
1500 m 3:35.85 3 July 2020 Portland, Oregon
Indoor 400 m 46.14 27 February 2022 Spokane, Washington
600 m 1:13.77 24 February 2019 New York City, New York WB
800 m 1:44.21 13 February 2021 New York City, New York AR, NR
1000 m 2:21.79 11 February 2017 New York City, New York
Mile 3:59.30 9 December 2017 College Station, Texas

Personal life

Notes

  1. ^ "American collegiate record" refers to the best collegiate indoor mark by an American athlete, Derek Peterson's 1:45.88; Brazier missed Paul Ereng's overall NCAA indoor record (1:44.84) by more than a second.[7]

References

  1. ^ a b c IAAF. "Donavan BRAZIER – Athlete Profile".
  2. ^ a b Hollobaugh, Jeff (May 27, 2015). "Brazier not done shocking the track world". RunMichigan.com. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Only the Start". SPIKES. January 26, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Hollobaugh, Jeff (January 21, 2016). "Brazier's Big Breakthrough". Track & Field News. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  5. ^ "2015 USATF Junior Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon". USATF. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "USATF Junior Outdoor Championships to select 2015 Pan Am Junior team". USATF. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  7. ^ "Collegiate Indoor Records—Men". Track & Field News. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Donavan Brazier at Tilastopaja (registration required)
  9. ^ a b c Gretschel, Johanna (June 9, 2016). "Watch Donavan Brazier Run No. 2 All-Time 800m for U.S. Junior". MileSplit. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Dennehy, Cathal; Mulkeen, Jon (June 11, 2016). "Lawson and Brazier rewrite history at NCAA Championships". International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  11. ^ "Collegiate Records—Men". Track and Field News. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  12. ^ "IAAF U20 OUTDOOR 2016 800 METRES MEN". IAAF. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  13. ^ "Watch: Texas A&M's Donavan Brazier breaks Jim Ryun's NCAA record". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  14. ^ "Texas A&M freshman Donavan Brazier decides to pursue professional career". Texas A&M University. June 21, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  15. ^ "Donavan Brazier Signs Endorsement Agreement with Nike". Global Athletics & Marketing. June 28, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2016.
  16. ^ "2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Results – Track & Field – 6/30/2016 to 7/10/2016 Eugene, Oregon". USATF. July 10, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  17. ^ "Donavan Brazier returns to college coach, Alleyne Francique". runblogrun. October 24, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  18. ^ "Weltklasse Zürich: Men's 800 meters". Diamond League. August 29, 2019. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  19. ^ "American Open Outdoor Track & Field Records". USATF. July 30, 2019. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  20. ^ "The year's best athletes, performance and Hall of Fame inductees honored at USATF Night of Legends". USA Track & Field. December 9, 2019.