The Drill: Trojans' Brands aims high in track and field

Charlie Brands, an important performer on the Worthington High School track and field team, aims ever higher in the high jump

Worthington Trojans track and field athlete Charlie Brands leaps over the high jump bar in a practice.
Worthington Trojans track and field athlete Charlie Brands leaps over the high jump bar in a practice.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON -- Charlie Brands enjoys being outdoors, and when he’s not participating in his high school sports he looks forward to camping and hiking with his family. Being able to be outdoors is no doubt part of the reason the Worthington High School junior breathes in deeply every spring track and field season. But there’s more.

It’s the camaraderie between athletes, and the practices. Just the way the practices are organized suits Brands.

“The one thing I like most about track and field is the flexibility of practices. It tends to be one of those sports where it’s just a mix of all kinds of people that tend not to do sports, coming out for track. I enjoy being with a lot more people,” he said.

Charlie (he prefers Charlie, but he also doesn’t mind being called Charles) gets outside often in two of the three sports he plays at WHS. The other two are basketball and cross country.

But this is the track and field season, and the 6-3 Brands is a versatile member of the Trojans team. His most typical events are the high jump, the 400-meter dash and the 4-by-4 relay. The high jump is what he calls both his best event and his favorite.


“The past few years I’ve been one of the better high jumpers,” he explained recently. “I moved up in the eighth grade to jump for the high school.”

Worthington Trojans track and field athlete Charles Brands leaps over the high jump bar during his first jump of the season.
Worthington Trojans track and field athlete Charles Brands leaps over the high jump bar in a practice session.
Tim Middagh / The Globe

His father, Doug Brands, once starred at Worthington High School for the Trojans’ 1994 state tournament basketball team. He also placed seventh in the state high jump and broke the school record in that event during his senior year.

Charlie, who naturally listens closely to his dad’s fatherly advice on athletics, naturally also hopes to continue improving in the high jump. Last season, he achieved his personal record of clearing five feet, eight inches, and this spring he says he hopes to get over six feet consistently.

The Globe interviewed Charlie for its latest Drill feature. You can see the accompanying video online at . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: What other goals do you have for yourself in track and field this year?

ANSWER: “A personal goal, other than high jumping, is definitely going to be in my 400 and 4-by-4. I believe our 4-by-4 team has a chance at going to state, maybe. But specifically, for my own 400 time I’d like to be getting probably under 55 (seconds).”

QUESTION: The WHS boys basketball team had kind of a roller-coaster season this year, with several newcomers trying to fit in with upperclassmen. What are your thoughts, looking back on the winter campaign?

ANSWER: “I think it was definitely a rebuilding year. Overall, we definitely improved a lot over the season. We figured it out. I think our coaches did a great job of bringing us together in the end. As a senior, I think I would like to be more of a leader next year.”


QUESTION: What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received in your sports career thus far?

ANSWER: “The most valuable piece of information, or advice, that I received this year was probably from my dad. … He used to be a basketball coach and has been a basketball player for his whole life, and he taught me this year that I should pay more attention to what I was good at and not focus on scoring the most points or bringing the most blocks or steals to the game.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at
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