Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brandon's Brittany McGee shows Olympic talent, spirit in track events

Brittany McGhee, 12, won a silver at the U.S. Track and Field Junior Olympics last week in Greensboro, N.C.

Special to the Times

Brittany McGhee, 12, won a silver at the U.S. Track and Field Junior Olympics last week in Greensboro, N.C.

BRANDON — The first time Brittany McGee ever stepped on a track, she didn't know about technique or form. She didn't know anything about Jackie Joyner-Kersee or the rich tradition of United States track and field. Brittany did, however, know one thing.

"I thought it looked kind of boring and not very interesting," she said. "But I figured I'd give it a try."

Brittany's parents didn't know what to expect when they entered their daughter into the 100m race that day at the Sunshine State Games in Tallahassee. They knew Brittany was fast for her age, but the young girl didn't make it out of the preliminaries.

"But we saw she had that competitive spirit," said her father, Thomas McGee. "We kind of entered her into it on a whim, but she wasn't ever nervous and just ran her heart out."

Brittany has been running ever since. "It just feels really good competing against other people, and it's exhilarating to keep getting better," she said.

If Brittany, 12, keeps getting better, there's a possibility she may find herself wearing a United States Olympics jersey one day. The Brandon resident won a silver medal last week in the pentathlon at the U.S. Track and Field Junior Olympics in Greensboro, N.C.

The pentathlon consists of the 100m hurdles, shot put, high jump, long jump and the 800m sprint. Brittany said her favorite event is the long jump.

"Because when you have a good jump," she said, "it feels like you're flying."

Maybe even more impressive than Brittany's silver medal is the age group she dominated. She won't turn 13 until the end of the month, but she competed in the 13-14 division.

"It was funny because everyone was taller than me," she said.

The silver medal capped off quite a year for Brittany, who will enter the seventh grade in a few weeks at Williams Middle Magnet School for International Studies. She also set three national records in the pentathlon, 100m and long jump at the AAU Club National Championships held at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Orlando.

So could the Olympics really be in Brittany's future?

"My wife and I have reservations about thinking that far ahead," Thomas McGee said. "But all her coaches seem to think she can do it. Just to hear Olympics and her name in the same breath is pretty amazing."

Fighting group will hold card in Germany

The Tampa-based mixed martial arts fighting organization Extreme Fighting Championships, or XFC, announced this week that it will hold its first international card in Germany on Dec. 12.

This marks a huge step for the XFC, widely considered the top regional promotion in Mixed Martial Arts. It's just the second time an American-based MMA organization will hold a card in Germany. The Ultimate Fighting Championships, MMA's pre-eminent organization, debuted in Germany in June.

"This is an exciting opportunity to showcase the athleticism and skill of XFC fighters internationally," XFC president John Prisco said. "It will inspire a greater appreciation and awareness of Germany's local up-and-coming fighters and simultaneously expose the future American MMA legends abroad."

The XFC recently opened a second MMA-themed gym on State Road 60 in Brandon in February. The organization will hold its next card, which will be broadcast live on HDNet, at the St. Pete Times Forum on Sept. 5.

Brandon Wright can be reached at

Brandon's Brittany McGee shows Olympic talent, spirit in track events 08/06/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 6, 2009 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    OF/DH Corey Dickerson missed out on a good birthday gift when AL player of the week honors went instead to Detroit's J.D. Martinez. Dickerson hit .385 with five homers, nine RBIs and nine runs; Martinez went .389-4-9-7 and got the nod.

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb learning to work with what he has



    If this were 2012 or 2013, even 2014, RHP Alex Cobb would have problems. He would find himself working with only two of his three pitches, with the missing pitch being his trusty changeup.

    Alex Cobb, working mainly with his fastball and curveball, is 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA over his past five starts. The Rays right-hander tries to continue his strong stretch tonight against the Angels.
  3. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater


    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.
  5. Bucs' O.J. Howard ends big day with BP, first pitch for Rays


    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard is known for his athleticism at 6-foot-6, 251-pounds. As an outfielder, he took his Autuaga Academy High School baseball team to the state tournament in Alabama as a junior.

    On Monday, after a little instruction from Steven Souza, Jr., the left-handed hitting Howard started making …