Clark, Brooks have different outlooks on state meetRockdale’s two state track entrants this year certainly have a
One, LeRaven Clark, still can’t believe he’s going. It may dawn on him he’s really there when he’s competing with the rest of the guys and gals who will descend upon the University of Texas this weekend in search of gold.
The other, Daniel Brooks, expects to go.
After all, it’s his birthright. No big deal. His last name is Brooks after all.
“I can’t believe it, not really,” Clark said. “Maybe as it gets closer, I’ll know that I’m going.”
Brooks of course is a member of Rockdale’s first family of track, who have previously sent four athletes to the state track meet.
Daniel makes the fifth.
“It relieves me a little bit, I’ve always wanted to go,” Brooks says. “When you get to regionals you start thinking about it. It’s not really pressure. It’s all on me. I’m running for me. I don’t want to let my family down.”
For those who are unaware, the Brooks family made its assault on the hurdles at the state track meet beginning in 1982 with Dennis Jr.
Following quickly was Daniel’s father Tony, who collected three gold medals in two trips (1984-85) and his state record clocking of 36.44 in the 300- meter hurdles has stood for 25 years.
The Brooks barrage continued with another of Daniel’s uncles Donny, who grabbed a couple of gold medallions in three trips (1986-88).
Daniel’s sister Krysten went in 2008-09 and now runs track for Texas-Arlington.
Clark and Brooks do share one characteristic—a bloodline— they are cousins.
Both Clark and Brooks will find gauntlets between them and harvesting gold medals.
Clark has the misfortune of sharing the same classification as the top weightman in the state—in any classification—in Navasota’s Rodney Brown.
Brown is a power pack at 5- foot-11 and 210 pounds, whose career best in the discus is 198- feet, 7 1/2 inches.
The 6-foot-6, 250 -pound Clark finished second to Brown despite uncorking his best throw of the season at 158-10, which paled to Brown’s 171-05.
Clark, who has a seven-foot wingspan, has the fourth best qualifying measurement in the Class 3A discus field.
The Rockdale school record is 186-3 set by Freddie Cates in 1997.
Brooks had to deal with defending state 110-meter hurdle champion Phillip Jones of West Orange-Stark at regionals.
Brooks—who just missed out on qualifying in the 300-meter hurdles—gave Jones all he wanted in the preliminaries, edging the sophomore 14.63-14.67.
Jones and Brooks enter the state meet ranked 1-2 in Class 3A with their qualifying times of 14.30 and 14.41, respectively.
Jones will run out of lane two, Brooks in lane six.
Future Texas Longhorn and brother of former star Jordan Shipley, Jaxon, is also in the field.
Brooks’ best clocking in the event came in Lexington at 14.39. His father Tony’s school record is 13.42.
“God has given both of them very special athletic gifts,” said Rockdale track coach Brent Hasselbach. “Combine that with a great work ethic and the desire to get there and you have described both of them.
“I expect them to do very well at the state meet. They get better every week because it means something to them.”
In last week’s Reporter,
it was reported that Daniel Brooks was the first Brooks to go to the state track meet as a sophomore. In actuality, Daniel’s uncle Donny competed in the hurdles as a sophomore on his way to three straight appearances.
THE BROOKS GO TO AUSTIN
1982—Dennis Brooks, 2nd in 110-
1984—Tony Brooks, 1st in 300-
1985—Tony Brooks, 1st in 110-
meter hurdles and 300-
1986—Donny Brooks, 3rd in 110-
1987—Donny Brooks, 1st in 110-
1988—Donny Brooks, 1st in 110-
2008—Krysten Brooks, 5th in 100-
2009—Krysten Brooks, 7th in 100-
*Note: Terry Brooks just missed
out on going to state in 1983 by
finishing third in the 110-meter
hurdles at regionals by one-one
hundreth of a second.
Lane Name School Time
1. Preston Woodard, Sweeny, 14.75
2. Phillip Jones, WOS, 14.30
3. Jaxon Shipley, Brownwood,14.50
4. Lamon Estell, Lib Eylau, 15.00
5. Marquise Smith, Dal Mad 14.91
6. Daniel Brooks, Rockdale, 14.41
7 Quentin Runnels, Bellville, 14.54
8. Austin Gray, Abilene Wiley, 14.73
Name School Distance
William Markert, Yoakum, 171-10
Rodney Brown, Navasota, 171-05
Shane Jones, Van Alstyne, 163-11
LeRaven Clark, Rockdale, 158-10
Mitchell Manley,Pittsburg, 158-06
Derek Longoria, Brownwood,158-03
Cole Hubble, Bandera, 158-03
Josh Patterson, Burnet, 155-09
STATE TRACK MEET
What—UIL State Track Meet
When—Friday-Saturday, May 14-15
Where—Mike Meyers Stadium,
University of Texas campus, Austin
Who—LeRaven Clark-Discus (Saturday,
9 a.m.), Daniel Brooks-110-
meter hurdles (Saturday, 12:55