- June 15, 2022
For the Bronaugh brothers — Chris “CJ” and James “JT” — track and field was an unexpected surprise. At first, they did not enjoy it, but as they got more involved with the sport, they ended up loving it.
What’s more, they became really good at it.
Currently, JT is ranked No. 1 in the state for the 100 meters, with a 10.66 time; and both brothers — who are part of the 4x100 meters — are first in the state with their relay teammates.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing or what I wanted to do,” JT said. “I originally wasn’t going to do track until they saw I was fast, and this season has gone so much better than last season.”
The reason? JT’s younger brother, CJ, joined the track team and the 4x100 relay, and the pair — alongside relay teammates Daniel Jean and Zephaniah Rogers — broke their own record, and the school’s record, with a time of 41.70.
The brothers are excited to show what they can do at the regionals and states meets, which will take place Saturday, May 6, and Wednesday, May 17, respectively.
“I expect them to win,” head track and field coach Tisifenee Taylor said. “I expect JT to win the 100 (meters), and I expect the boys to win the 4x100 (meters). … If we don’t win, I’ll be very shocked to be honest.”
JT and CJ have been involved in sports together for as long as they can remember.
However, their time together doing track and field and football at Foundation Academy has brought them closer than ever.
“Two years ago, we did not like each other — at all,” JT said. “We were always at our heads, arguing and fighting. We would never get along. But as we got older, we started maturing, and he started playing football with me. We started hanging out more, talking more.”
As first leg of the relay — CJ has provided a competitive start since he joined the boys this season.
“I think (I got first leg because of) the coordination, the starts and the handoffs (of the baton),” he said. “I feel like they all thought I had a good start to put me in as the first leg. … I feel like at practices, when we are working on handoffs for our 4x100, or working on starts, I feel like all of us are helping each other. (JT) helps me work on my starts by telling me to keep my head low and drive, and he helps other people, too. We are all helping each other to make the team better.”
CJ got into track because of JT, who has been teaching him how to become faster every time they step on the track.
“Competing together is great, because I can teach him everything I know and how to get faster on the track, which I have,” JT said. “He’s behind me now; he’s the second-fastest on the team.”
Behind the push and the motivation to help his younger brother become better, JT also has gotten serious about the sport.
“I want to be noticed for my speed,” he said. “But, he still pushes me to run faster, because I still have one more year of track and some more meets this year, but I don’t want him to break my time just yet. As a freshman and running 11 flat, (CJ) can definitely beat my time sometime. It’s just pushing me more to get a lower time than I have right now.”
At home, the brothers often go on weighted runs around their neighborhood to work on resistance and gaining speed.
“It’s our little secret, but we have weight vests at home and ankle weights, and we’ll just run around the neighborhood together as far as we can, not sprinting hard, just length-wise,” JT said. “Then, we’ll take (the weights) off, and we’ll try to get our form down. So, we do keep up outside of track practice here at school, because there’s always something that can be corrected.”
To reach their goal of winning regionals and states, the brothers are staying on track with their workouts, and Taylor is pushing them at practices to help them get faster.
“I’m glad we have a week of no meets, because we can get some good training in, but I’m (also) just getting them prepared mentally,” she said. “I understand what a big deal this is, and I think they do, too. … I just want to keep them focused and have them go out there and have fun, because they did all the hard work, so now, it’s just time to have fun.”