Brandenburg jack-of-all trades for Panthers

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 29, 2005

CHESAPEAKE - Jeff Brandenburg likes to do lots of things, and he likes to do them all the time.

The non-stop schedule of the Chesapeake Panthers junior, three-sport athlete gets busier by the season. An end in football and forward in basketball, Brandenburg runs four events for the track team.

But keeping busy doesn't bother Brandenburg and it is encouraged by Chesapeake coach Phil Davis who coaches three sports.

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"My theory is kids ought to be doing all the sports, especially in a small school," Davis said. "Studies show that athletes who play more than one sport are less likely to sustain an injury."

Brandenburg has won or shared high points honors in the past four meets. He and teammate Chad Simmons took top honors last Friday as the Panthers surprised South Point and tied for the league championship.

Brandenburg was second in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, second to Simmons in the long jump, and ran the anchor leg on the winning 4×400 relay team.

"I like them all," Brandenburg said. "Sometimes it gets really tough because my legs get tired."

The jack-of-all trades approach began in junior high when Brandenburg ran similar events plus the pole vault. He said his dream is to run in the 100- or 200-meter dashes.

"But that probably won't happen. Coach (Davis) has someone else for those events," Brandenburg said with a grin.

Davis said Brandenburg was a good athlete who has improved thanks to playing other sports. His 110 hurdle time is 15.0, his 300 hurdle time 41.2 and his best long jump is 19-feet, 8-inches.

"He can go better," Davis said.

Brandenburg said he spends an hour and a half at practice and tries to split the time between all the events.

"There are a lot of times when I practice after we're finished," Brandenburg said.

Running the hurdles and working on relay exchanges require most of the practice time. Brandenburg said the long jump is the easiest part of his workouts.

"I just go down 50 yards and jump," Brandenburg said.

The next jump Brandenburg will take is in the district meet Tuesday at Rock Hill High School. For now, Brandenburg's goal is simple.

"I just want to try and do good and maybe we'll make the state (meet)," Brandenburg said.