Shannon Taub had a feeling about the freshman.

Then a fifth-year senior on Duquesne University’s women’s track and field team in 2020, Taub can still recall the first time she met Emily Brozeski — now three years in the past.

“The day she came in, she started training and everything, I said to our head coach, ‘She’s going to be really, really good, really good, by the time she’s done here,” said Taub, who is now an assistant coach at her alma mater, specializing in multi, throwing and jumping events.

Brozeski, a 2019 Norwin graduate, has proven her coach to be quite prescient.

Now a junior, Brozeski last Sunday brought her second consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference championship in the heptathlon back to The Bluff. She also won an indoor conference title in the pentathlon in February.

“She’s what you ask for as a coach,” Taub said. “She’s a great person as well as a great athlete. She does everything right. She’s always on time to practice, is always willing to learn. She’s just someone who deserves to win because she does everything she’s supposed to do.”

That certainly includes when the light shines the brightest.

Brozeski won her latest A-10 championship with a personal-best score of 5,172 points, which reset her previous school record of 5,122.

Heptathlon athletes compete in the 100-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, 800-meter run, high jump, long jump, shot put and javelin. The indoor pentathlon consists of the 60-meter hurdles, 800-meter run, high jump, long jump and shot put.

Brozeski took first place in the 100-meter hurdles last week at the UMass Track and Field Complex in Amherst, Mass., with a time of 14.32, and also finished in first in the shot put with a throw of 40 feet, 6 inches. She also took second in the 200 meters, javelin and long jump; third in the high jump and fifth in the 800 meters to win the A-10 crown.

It was a nearly perfect weekend, Brozeski said.

“It was a goal of mine for sure, but I actually hurt my foot about three weeks ago at Bucknell,” said Brozeski of the circumstances surrounding her successful defense of her conference title. “I was very, very concerned because in my head — I want to defend my title, winning is always the goal, doing your best is always the goal — so for about three weeks I did not do much besides healing my foot.”

Norwin graduate Emily Brozeski, a junior at Duquesne University, stood atop the podium after successfully defending her heptathlon title at the Atlantic 10 Conference championships. (Thom Kendall/Atlantic 10)

Brozeski said the program she underwent with Duquesne athletic trainer Ricky Wheeler leading up to the event at UMass was critical to her success. She said she had her foot wrapped for all of her events.

“That was definitely a concern of mine,” Brozeski said. “I obviously wanted to push through, do my best. I did not expect myself to get a personal best this past weekend. I was very shocked at that. I said, ‘Maybe the time off helped my legs actually.’ I rested up a little bit.

“My biggest competitor, Abby Weening of George Mason, she is an amazing and phenomenal athlete, and I knew it would be close between us,” she added. “The whole time I was obviously competing against her but at the same time trying to focus on me and just doing the best that I can.”

For Taub, she said a little-known aspect of Brozeski’s success at the A-10 event the past two seasons made her athlete’s success all that much sweeter.

“This is actually two years in a row she has competed at the championships on a hurt foot, it’s her subtalar joint,” Taub said. “Again, it just shows the competitor she is. We went into this championship knowing we had a chance to win again, but, with the injury and everything and her not being able to jump for weeks, there’s always that ‘What do we need to do to make sure it happens.’

“She did it. She came out and she hit PR, she hit heptathlon best. She did everything she could do to make sure she won that thing. It was really exciting. It made the emotions so much more.”

Sharing another conference championship with her family was also special, Brozeski said.

Dave and Cindy Brozeski, Emily’s parents, traveled to the event along with her fiancé, Geoffrey Helm. She said she also shared in her success with her sisters — Aleks, Bella and Brandi — via text messages.

Aleks is a sophomore jumper on Slippery Rock University’s track and field team, while Bella is a senior at Norwin, who is committed to compete next spring at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Brandi is a sophomore track athlete at Norwin.

“There’s a lot of us,” she said. “It’s really fun because with us all doing the same sport it makes it easy for all of us to know different times and stuff like that, jumps distances.”

With one more season left at Duquesne, Brozeski is now turning her focus toward her offseason training regimen.

Brozeski said she will add distance to her training runs in an effort to strengthen her results in the 800-meter run.

“Basically my mindset going into this whole year is just leave nothing out there,” she said. “In every single workout I do, every single practice, every single week, this is the last time I am going to go through all this. Just leave nothing out there and make sure I do the best I can every time.”

Brozeski said she is intent on winning a third consecutive A-10 outdoor title in 2024 after defending her indoor crown, and adding another school record in the pentathlon, which is currently held by Taub.

Qualifying for the NCAA championship meet is also a major goal, Brozeski said.

“Those are amazing athletes out there,” she said. “That’s the goal.”

It’s one that’s certainly attainable, Taub said.

“I think we get her on a healthy body, she is going to surprise a lot of people,” she said. “I think she’s going to put up a bigger score than they all do.

“We’ve definitely got our goals set high,” Taub added. “I think she can put together a really good score once healthy, and we have a plan to try to get there.”

John is a copy editor and page designer at the Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

John Santa

John is a copy editor and page designer at the Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at