Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) biology student Brinna Lavelle won a bronze medal for Team USA at the America Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil last July.
This July, the senior Governor hopes to win another medal on a bigger stage, the World University Games in Naples, Italy. She thinks she’ll do well.
“Because the last one was my very first international competition, I feel like I’m going to be more prepared,” she said. “I know what to expect, and it’s going to be a lot more fun.
“It’s going to be a lot bigger this time.”
Indeed. The World University Games are the second-largest multisport event in the world after the summer Olympics. More than 9,000 athletes from across the world compete.
The World University Games are July 3rd-14th. Lavelle competes July 6th-7th individually (in the 52-kilogram weight class) and in the team competition.
Lavelle learned from last summer’s games.
“The international style definitely is a lot different than the American style, they’re a lot faster and stronger,” she said.
To adjust for this summer’s games, Lavelle changed her training. She added strength and conditioning as wells as speed drills.
“To get faster at what I’m doing, and trying to be more aggressive, not in a mean sense, but constantly going for stuff instead of my more laid-back style,” she said.
Veterinarian, Olympic Dreams
After she earns her biology degree at Austin Peay State University, Lavelle wants to go to veterinarian school.
She hasn’t picked a graduate school yet but is exploring places such as Pennsylvania University, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Texas A&M, where Team USA coach Bob Perez works.
By that, she means the Olympics.
“That is something I’d like to see if I can do,” she said.
Currently, Lavelle trains six days a week and shadows at the Animal Hospital of Clarksville. She’s set to graduate from Austin Peay next spring.
Competing, Touring in Italy
“I’ve always wanted to go to Italy,” Lavelle said. “That’s my No. 1 country, so I’m really excited. There’s so much history.”
She plans to attend the opening ceremonies on July 3rd and stay after she competes to tour the country.
But the competition is the top priority.
“I’m trying to stay optimistic, I definitely think I have a chance to place or win,” Lavelle said. “But I know it’s going to be tough.
“It’s all about making a step in the right direction, moving forward,” she added. “But I’m always disappointed if I don’t finish first.”
Learn From A World-Class Judo Athlete
Lavelle is leading a 3:00pm judo seminar June 8th at Renzo Gracie Clarksville Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 200 Harnett Court, Clarksville. Proceeds will help fund Lavelle’s trip to Italy. The seminar is $30.00 per person, and you can walk in the day of the seminar.
Additional donations will be accepted. Call 931.241.2159 for more.
- Eight-time Tennessee state gold medalist.
- Junior Olympic gold medalist.
- U.S. Judo Association Nationals gold medalist.
- Two-time Junior U.S. Open silver medalist.
- Pan-American Cup silver medalist.
- North/Central American championships silver medalist.
- FISU America Games bronze medalist.
- Currently ranked fifth in the country in her division.
To Learn More
- To find out how you can support Lavelle’s trip to Italy, go to www.gofundme.com/6l5yb68.
- For more about the World University Games, go to www.universiade2019napoli.it.
- To catch up on Team USA, visit https://usateam.org.
- The International University Sports Federation will stream the games live. You can find out more at www.fisu.net/media/fisutv.
- For more about the APSU Department of Biology, go to www.apsu.edu/biology.