After all the runs, throws, jumps and relays, the track meet between Central Valley High School and its cross-town rival, University, came down to a single vault.
For CV junior Drew Brown, the setting was a chance to put one of his favorite expressions into practice – “actions speak louder than words.”
The cheer that went up among the Central Valley faithful told the final story that spring day – Brown soared to a winning pole vault of 13 feet and secured first place for his school.
Central Valley High School senior Drew Brown (front in blue jersey) is a four-year letter winner in cross country. He also serves as ASB president.
“To me, that’s Drew – that’s what he’s become,” said CV track coach Chuck Bowden. “He’s built himself into that kind of person.”
These days, Brown is a senior co-captain of the cross-country team and Central Valley ASB president. A member of the Liberty Lake Ward in the Spokane Valley Stake, Brown also maintains a 4.0 grade point average and serves as second assistant in his Priest quorum.
Bowden said Brown is known at CV as a dedicated leader who “reaches out to everyone.”
Brown qualified for the regional track meet in the pole vault last season.
“Drew doesn’t hide behind his varsity athlete status or his ASB president status – he fits in with a lot of groups,” Bowden said. “Drew is always striving. I’ve never seen him not respected or not seen in a positive light.”
As part of his academic schedule, Brown attends release-time seminary at the Institute building on the CV campus. He said the class provides a welcome spiritual respite in the course of a busy day.
“It really helps me get focused and get in tune with the Spirit,” Brown said. “I have a clearer perspective and a better attitude for the rest of the day.”
In earning his Eagle Scout award in 2009, Brown completed a project that honors a CV graduate, Kelly Grothe, who lost his life in Iraq while serving for the U.S. military. A memorial tree and concrete ring pay tribute to Grothe at the east end of the CV track.
From Scouts to sports to school, Drew said the guidance and encouragement of his parents, Nathan and Shaun, have been critical to his success.
Drew earned his Eagle Scout award in 2009.
“Growing up with gospel principles has been a key,” he said. “I’ve learned that hard work is necessary if you want a greater goal.”
Brown proudly acknowledges that “most people at school know I’m Mormon” and said he makes it a point to be an example of the Church in a manner that is affable and inclusive.
“I try to reach out to people,” he said. “It might be just some friendly advice or a side comment, but I try to influence them instead of shun them. My goal is to get out of my comfort zone and be a friend to everyone.”
As for examples of inspirational leadership, Drew places a notable Book of Mormon prophet at the top of his list.
“I admire the story of Moroni and his diligence and worthiness before the Lord ,” Brown said. “He was a great leader.”
Drew (center) hopes to attend BYU-Provo and compete on the track team – but his first priority is to serve a full-time LDS mission.
Looking ahead, Drew is hoping to attend BYU-Provo and join his brother, Kyle, on the track team. His goals also include a full-time mission, with the realization that sharing the restored gospel brings the sort of reward not found on any athletic field.
“I’m looking forward to the growth and experience a mission brings,” Drew said. “I want to help people come unto Christ.”