In nine years coaching track and field at West Meck, Sam Willoughby said he cannot recall a more promising freshman than Khafre Brown.
Saturday’s Velocity Sports Performance Invitational at Olympic High School served as the latest example of the young runner’s ability. Brown’s first-place finish in the 100 meters – despite he and his coach admitting it was not his fastest race – was notable not only because he beat several much older sprinters, but because of his muted reaction afterward.
“It’s extremely impressive for a freshman,” Willoughby said. “But he’s been in the track scene for quite some time, so it’s not a surprise for him. He has a lot of track experience, so he’s not too frazzled at all.”
Brown also competed in the 200-meter dash and long jump.
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Willoughby said that some of Brown’s stiffest competition comes from someone he knows very well, his older brother Dyami, a sophomore who is also a standout football player. The older Brown was not at Saturday’s track meet, but their coach said that the stiff competition between the two has made both better athletes.
Dyami typically runs longer distances, but the brothers often square off in the 200. Willoughby described those races as “fireworks.”
“[Dyami] is just as fast as Khafre is,” Willoughby said. “Khafre wants to beat his brother real bad, real bad. They love each other, they feed off one another. It’s not like a rivalry with bad blood. It’s good.”
Both Khafre and Willoughby believe big things are in store for the freshman, in both the short and long term. Khafre said his goal this season is to compete for the state championship in all three of his events. His coach believes he is capable of doing that and more before he leaves West Meck.
“We’re looking for Khafre to win a state championship,” Willoughby said. “He’s up in the top ranks of the state. We’re really trying to keep him happy, keep him healthy, don’t burn him out too early. … He’s on pace to be the best the school has had in history.”