Eric Peterson, Published March 04 2013
MSUM speedster Bredy is looking for his first national championship
Derek Bredy’s favorite television show is “Smallville,” a fictional series based around Clark Kent in his formative years before becoming Superman.
“I’ve probably watched all 10 seasons a few times,” the Minnesota State Moorhead senior said with a laugh.
Bredy has developed into a Superman for Dragons track and field.
He has the top time in the 200 meters (21.06 seconds) for the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, which start Thursday in Birmingham, Ala. Bredy is also seeded 14th in the 400 (47.95) and part of MSUM’s 1,600 relay, which has a seed time of 3:14.22.
“I have coached a lot of world-class athletes,” said Dragons assistant coach Rahn Sheffield, who has trained the likes of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. “I can say his mentality is right there. He is on point.”
Bredy holds seven individual school records, including five indoor and two outdoor. He’s hoping to earn his first national title next weekend. The men's program hasn’t had a national champion since 2003, when Chris Nulle won the D-II indoor weight throw.
A national crown would mean everything to Bredy, who is from Hoffman, Minn.
“I would probably just sit there and smile with a little tear down my eye, start laughing,” Bredy said. “It would be pretty fantastic.”
Bredy has committed to year-round training. The past three summers, he’s chosen not to take on a summer job so he could train six, and sometimes seven, days a week.
“Over the summer, there are no breaks for him,” Dragons senior Michael Bendix said. “There is no stopping. It makes you want to get better.”
Bredy tracks his diet, counting carbohydrates and proteins. Bredy said he consumes from 3,500 to 5,000 calories a day during his heavy training, and cuts back to 3,000 to 3,500 calories in season when he scales back workouts.
“It’s been all or nothing – all the eggs in one basket,” said Bredy, an exercise science major who made the academic honor roll for this past fall semester. “This is like hobby and life all mixed into one. It’s kind of great.”
Bredy is relatively new to track. He didn’t go out for the sport until his senior year at West Central Area High School, which is in Barrett, Minn. He even had second thoughts about pursuing a college track career when he first came to MSUM. He decided to take a year off after he had moved into his dorm and registered for classes.
Those doubts no longer linger. Bredy is driven to maximize his athletic potential.
“I will always remember him as the person that not only wanted to win, but did what it took the 22 hours a day away from practice to do it,” MSUM head coach Keith Barnier said.
Bredy has set indoor school records in the 200 and 400 this season. He feels his mental approach had helped him continue to improve. He’s not putting too much pressure on himself like he has in the past.
Bredy credits his parents, girlfriend and cats for keeping him from stressing.
“No matter good or bad, it’s all going to be there still and that brings me back down to earth,” Bredy said.
Sheffield has noticed a sharper focus from Bredy.
“I sensed a person that was looking at the top of the hill, but didn’t know where to start,” Sheffield said. “This year, he’s a lot more focused on the road map and how to get to his destination.”
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