Brown soaring for Hanahan Hawks

Junior Chris Brown is a standout sprinter and jumper for Hanahan in track besides being a top football prospect.

Decisions, decisions. What's a great athlete to do?

Hanahan star Chris Brown must make a decision the next week or so that could impact the Class AA state track and field championships, which will be contested next month.

A 6-2, 175-pound junior, he will compete in the triple and long jumps in the Region 6-AA meet, which is the first step toward the state meet. He will also run a leg of the Hawks' 4x100-meter relay. He must decide between the high jump and the 200 meters.

"I want to run the 200 to get faster for football," Brown said. "But I'll talk to coach (Dave Pratt) and do what's best for the team."

Brown turned out to be the best athlete at the Berkeley County meet Wednesday night at Cane Bay High School. He scored 32 1/2 points, winning the 200, triple and long jumps. He was a member of the 400 relay team that collected a gold medal.

Just how impressive was Brown on Wednesday night?

He made only one attempt in the triple jump and cleared 49 feet, 4 inches, which was five feet better than the second-place finisher and tied Shai Carpenter of Mauldin for the top triple jump in the state this season.

"It wasn't wind-aided or anything like that," Pratt said. "He was pretty outstanding. He just nailed it. He made one jump and then got ready for the 200. I've never seen anything like it, and I've been coaching 30 years."

Brown soared 22-11 in the long jump, just 1 1/2 inches off the state best of 23- 1/2 that Delante Price of Lamar turned in earlier this year.

He turned in a hand-held time of 21.93 in the 200, and the 4x100 relay team won in 42.08.

Pratt and Brown will debate the merits of competing in the 200 vs. the high jump.

"The high jump can be iffy if you don't get your steps down," Pratt said. "If you are off your mark, it can be a long day. The 200 might be a safer bet."

It was a long day at last year's state meet. The Hawks hoped for a state title but came up short when Brown injured his hip lifting weights four days before the state meet. Brown was the top seed in the long, triple and high jumps, and seemed OK when he raced down the runway during the long jump competition. But he then went to compete in the 4x100 relay and fell down after he ran his leg. He didn't compete in the high jump and triple jump, and the Hawks missed out on a title.

"I'm kind of using this season as a payback," Brown said. "I feel like I owe it to my teammates after what happened last year."

Brown could have to make another decision by the time he graduates in the spring of 2012. He's one of the top wide receiver prospects in the state and already has offers from Wake Forest, East Carolina, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Illinois. Clemson, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, North Carolina State and Florida have shown strong interest in Brown, who played well on both sides of the ball last fall.

He caught 52 passes for 1,098 yards and 16 touchdowns his junior season. He also had three interceptions, three fumble recoveries and four TDs on the defensive side of the ball.

"It's kind of even," Brown said when asked what sport he preferred. "Ideally, I'll sign a football scholarship and run track, too."