When it comes to flying there’s the Wright Brothers and the Brown Brothers.
We know what Orville and Wilbur Wright pulled off. Carlsbad’s Kyle and Garrett Brown are logging some impressive sky miles, too, as pole vaulters.
Garrett Brown, the younger of the pair, went up, up and away on Friday and when he landed, he was a CIF San Diego Section record-holder.
“It was the perfect jump,” Garrett, 17, said. “I was super excited that I accomplished my goal.”
His mark of 17 feet, ¾ inch set not only a county standard but it’s also the top national mark among preps. It came on Garrett’s second attempt at that height, after his first try failed when his hip grazed the bar.
Garrett went to a stiffer pole during his second run and he leaped right into the record books. Thank goodness his father, Charles, a former UCLA pole vaulter, hit record on his cellphone.
Turns out Charles is better at mentoring his sons than chronicling their greatness.
“I’m barely in the video,” Garrett said. “He almost missed it.”
At least his post-jump comments were on the mark, correct?
“He was speechless and almost in shock,” Garrett said. “I don’t think he expected me to be able to do that.”
Garrett is always doing something to hone his skills of arching a pole and defying gravity. But like other high school athletes, it’s been challenging to train and shine during the pandemic.
Last season was wiped from the books and this season there’s only been a few dual meets. That’s why Garrett was rising in Arizona last week, competing in an invitational, and not closer to home.
It’s in the Browns’ backyard where the flying brothers train with a 40-foot runway and a small landing pit.
Kyle, who has soared 17-4, has two years of eligibility remaining at UCLA. That’s swell, because he no longer has the La Costa Canyon pole vault record.
“He was a good sport about it,” Garrett said about erasing Kyle’s name. “But there’s always that brotherly competition.”
Kyle is a Bruin, so he grins and bears it, happy for his sibling’s success.
“I don’t want to lose to him yet, but I know it is going to happen someday,” Kyle said after a meet. “Of course, I want to beat him, but my dad and I are his coaches so we want him to do the best that he can.”
Being a top-shelf pole vaulter is in Garrett’s sights at the collegiate level. Not only does his father and brother have UCLA on their transcripts, but Garrett’s mother has Westwood in her blood, too.
So, of course, Garrett is headed to … Stanford?
“I was always interested in Stanford and I heard a lot of good things about it,” said Garrett, who’ll likely major in aerospace engineering. “There’s a lot of reasons to go there and I wanted to take my own path.”
Garrett blazed a trail to an In-N-Out in Chandler, Arizona, to celebrate his record jump. He devoured an impressive three-by-three stack of meat but showed his discipline by forgoing the fries and shake.
“It wasn’t the fanciest place, but I was so hungry,” Garrett said. “Then when I got back home it was right back to training.”
Garrett’s success doesn’t surprise Bill Vice, one of his LCC coaches.
“He’s obviously very driven,” Vice said. “He has his goals and COVID-19 hasn’t stopped him. We are really proud of him.”
That goes for all the Browns, a family with their feet on the ground and their sons in the air.