Drenon finds focus, success with Texas Men's Track and Field
May 28, 2009
It’s not as if Brandon Drenon had any plans to be in Norman, Okla. this weekend for the NCAA Outdoor Regional Championships. He didn’t really plan any of this at all.
Drenon’s emergence as a national force in the shot put and discus is perhaps nothing more than an accidental benefit of a young man with a great mind and great talent.
It’s the mental part, though, that Drenon has always cultivated. He competed in track and field as a high schooler near Houston, but followed his academic passions to Notre Dame.
Drenon walked on for the Fighting Irish, and eventually claimed the Big East Outdoor discus title as a sophomore -- pretty much by accident.
“Track really wasn’t a focus or a concern,” Drenon explains. “I just sort of did it to remain competitive.”
Drenon’s real passion was school, and through his coursework, he discovered another -- making films. Realizing that Notre Dame wasn’t the place to hone that talent, Drenon trekked back to Texas, and to The University’s famed Radio, Television and Film program in the College of Communication.
And, by virtue of his conference discus title, Drenon earned a spot on the Men’s Track and Field roster. When assistant coach Mario Sategna first laid eyes on Drenon, he saw a blank canvas.
“He laughed at first when I told him he’d have no trouble putting on 20 pounds,” Sategna recalls.
But with the help of strength coach Trey Zepeda, that’s exactly what happened.
“He pushes me really hard in the weight room to give maximum effort, even more so on the days when I seem to be a bit sluggish,” Drenon said of Zepeda. “He is a great strength coach and has done a lot for me. I don't know that I'd have the same amount of success without being in his strength program, or having him as a mentor.”
The bulkier Drenon also has a growing resume of throws that back up his work in the weight room. After a shaky indoor season, Drenon debuted in the Texas Relays with personal best throws in the shot put and discus.
And he won the college discus title at the famed Penn Relays in late April. Drenon finished third in the shot put and fourth in the discus at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships earlier this month.
Now, he’s thinking about eventually competing for a national title, and perhaps even one day qualifying for the Olympics. That’s an interesting admission for a guy who has never put track at the top of his priority list.
“I guess it’s always been second,” Drenon said. “I had career goals, academics ahead of everything.”
His arrival on the Forty Acres helped open his eyes to bigger goals, however.
“That’s something that’s really motivated me, being amongst champions. There are national champions in the locker room, and Olympians out there on the track,” Drenon said. “You’re just surrounded by greatness. That always pushes me.”