Brathwaite Reaching His Dream|
Shane Brathwaite has had a breakout 2012 season for the No. 8 Red Raiders.
April 13, 2012
by Holly Kitten
Shane Brathwaite was just six years old when he saw the summer Olympics on television for the first time. He watched with wide eyes as a member of the Barbados team ran the 200 meter dash.
"Seeing somebody from my country at that level," he said, "I really wanted to be that person."
The Texas Tech senior has experienced a breakout season this year. After transferring from Central Arizona Junior College, he has exceled in not one, but four events for the Tech program - the 110 meter hurdles, the 400 meter hurdles, the 4x100 meter relay, and the 4x400 meter relay.
Head coach Wes Kittley said that level of involvement makes Brathwaite a key element to his squad.
"He's on everything," Kittley said. "He's such a valuable asset to our team."
Brathwaite competed in multiple events when he was younger, too. In 2007, he represented Barbados at the World Youth Championships, where he won the Octathlon. The following year, he competed in the World Juniors Championships, and in 2009, he ran in the Pan American Games, where he earned a bronze medal in the 110 meter hurdles.
Brathwaite's success has continued throughout his college career. He earned All-American honors in three events at Central Arizona, and in two events during the 2011 outdoor season at Tech. He also had 13 top-10 finishes during his 2011 indoor season.
The 2011 fall conditioning season was Brathwaite's first at Tech, and it has really made a difference in Brathwaite's recent performances.
"He got to go under our fall program, and you're seeing it this spring," Kittley said. "We're real proud of what he's done so far."
His teammates aided in his improvement, too, Brathwaite said.
Brathwaite said he enjoys running with those two, because they have the same goal he does: to qualify for the Olympic trials; Brathwaite for Barbados, Mason for Puerto Rico, and Roberts for the U.S.
"We all go out there and work really hard at it," Brathwaite said. "Hopefully, the times will show and we can make the team."
His times have already earned him some spotlight. Brathwaite ran a 13.43 in the 110 meter hurdles at the Texas Relays on March 31. Not only was it a personal best, but it also ranked him No. 2 in the country, and qualified him for the Barbados Olympic trials in a B standard.
"I'm really excited," he said. "That's why I am working hard this season to be as good as I can."
Until his Olympic trial dreams can be fulfilled, he has other goals to focus on, though - like qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships and making the finals in both the 110 meter hurdles and 400 meter hurdles.
"Once you make finals," he said, "anything is possible."
Brathwaite said he is excited about the relays' prospects, too. The 4x100 meter relay team earned a fourth place finish at the Texas Relays, with a time of 39.23, the second-fastest time in school history. The squad consists of Roberts, Markus Henderson, Brathwaite, and Isaiah Gill and currently ranks No. 6 in the country.
"We have a really strong team," Brathwaite said.
After resting during last week's meet at LSU, Brathwaite said he is ready to get back on the track and compete Saturday at the Texas Tech Open. After all, each meet brings a new opportunity to improve his times and get closer to his ultimate dream.
Who knows? Starry-eyed children may be watching Brathwaite on television this summer, competing for his native country in the 2012 Olympics.