Renaissance man takes ULV

Senior All-American track and field athlete Brandon Tedrow is ranked No. 2 nationally in the decathlon with 6,684 points. Tedrow's mark qualifies him automatically to compete at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Canton, N.Y., held May 22-24. Tedrow has been named SCIAC Male Athlete of the Week, SCIAC Athlete of the Year, SCIAC Scholar Athlete, received All-State honors and the Anthony P. Scafani award. / photo by Liz Lucsko
Senior All-American track and field athlete Brandon Tedrow is ranked No. 2 nationally in the decathlon with 6,684 points. Tedrow’s mark qualifies him automatically to compete at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Canton, N.Y., held May 22-24. Tedrow has been named SCIAC Male Athlete of the Week, SCIAC Athlete of the Year, SCIAC Scholar Athlete, received All-State honors and the Anthony P. Scafani award. / photo by Liz Lucsko

by Lacy Cascadden
Staff Writer

His blue eyes wander as they take in the scene before him. He talks easily regardless of the fact that he is talking to a stranger. With incredible poise, he answers each question, laughing easily as if he were among friends.

His hands are clasped in front of him as he speaks about his passions: the very things that define him.

It is not easy being an athlete. There is constant strain on mind and body. Especially when you are the best.

And he is the best. Every movement is precise, and every second counts. It is now or never.

Tall and strong, senior Brandon Tedrow is a thrower and one of the nation’s best college decathletes.

“People recognize me as an athlete,” Tedrow said. “Sports are a way of life. It makes me what I am.”

As a member of the University of La Verne track and field team, Tedrow will travel to Canton, N.Y. May 22-24 to compete in nationals.

After taking third in last year’s tournament and a default due to injury his sophomore year, Tedrow is ready and determined to compete this year and prove that he is No. 1.

“He has a really good chance,” said head track and field coach Pat Widolff.

The coaches in the conference named Tedrow Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Athlete of the Year.

Tedrow is officially second in the nation for the decathlon. But being second does not mean that Tedrow can not be the best.

“Ranking doesn’t mean much,” Widolff said. “It is what you do in those two days (at nationals).”

For someone who only started track and field in high school, Tedrow has come a long way.

Formerly a basketball player, he gives credit to the track coach at his junior high, who got him interested in track. He was also the coach at Tedrow’s high school, and Tedrow credits his coach for getting him started in the sport.

He chose to do the decathlon because he does not like only competing in one event.

To the list of sports he has played, soccer and baseball can be added. His passion for sports will carry on into his future, he said.

Tedrow will graduate with a degree in history, and he will later try for his teaching credential. He hopes to teach history and also coach a sport.

Tedrow is already like a coach at ULV where he helps the throwers and his other teammates. Tedrow will return to help coach ULV track and field, and he will continue to train and compete as well.

“He is very encouraging and always willing to help,” said LaKia Sims of the women’s track and field team. “He respects everyone’s craft.”

But there is more to this strong athlete. Tedrow works at Burlington Coat Factory and is a dedicated student.

He is in the Honors program at ULV, and this year, he received a scholar award and the Anthony P. Scafani Sportsman of the Year Award.

In addition, Tedrow is a dedicated member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

But he likes to have fun as well. He is somewhat of a movie buff, boasting that he owns more than 100 movies.

But sports are what Tedrow is known for.

It is not about winning for him; it is about doing the best he can do and feeling satisfied with his performance, knowing that he pushed himself as hard as he could, he said.

Looking at Tedrow, you can see the determination in his eyes.

“I think I have a shot at winning (nationals) and getting All-American for javelin,” Tedrow said.

Tedrow, however, has more than just a shot.

Several members of the ULV track and field team will leave next week and compete in nationals.

Tedrow will be accompanied by his father and his aunt in New York. He will try for the third time to prove that he is No. 1 in the nation.

“He still competes even when he is hurt,” said Will Lawson of the men’s track and field team. “That’s what makes a champion.”

Regardless of whether Tedrow wins next week, he will go down as the best decathlete in ULV history, holding the school record.

“I wouldn’t question it,” Lawson said. “Undoubtedly, I would say he is coming back a national champion.”

It seems a perfect end to the year for Tedrow.

Soon he will embark on a new part of his life, but sports will always be part of who he is.

“He has excellence on and off the field,” said Jim Paschal, athletic director.

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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