OVER THE HILL
Yes, Rockdale’s first family of track, the Brookses, just seem to kick it up a notch when they put a spike to a running surface in Texas’s capitol city, whether it was old Memorial Stadium or the newer Mike Myers Track Facility.
Tiger junior Daniel Brooks wrote another chapter in that legacy on Saturday at the Texas Relays when he basically blew away the field in the 110-high hurdles and edged out a home town Austin runner to take the 100-meter dash.
Brooks’ winning time in the 100 meters was 10.72 and he won the 110 highs in 14.03.
He’s just following a family tradition.
In 1985 his father, Tony, had one of the more memorable state meets ever, running away with both hurdling events, posting the best times in all classifications and breaking one state record.
There’s more. Much more.
Daniel’s uncle, Dennis Jr., started the Brooks-Austin tradition when he participated in the state meet in 1982.
His uncle Donny went to state—in Austin of course— three times in the late 1980s and won three gold medals.
And his sister, Krysten, competed at state in 2008 and 2009.
Brooks, who is just a junior, ought to get several more cracks at the fabled UT facilities.
But, ironically, he probably won’t play any football games there.
He has committed to Oklahoma and the Sooners don’t play the Longhorns in either Austin or Norman.
You see, there’s this little friendly get-together in Dallas every fall.
My picks for the five most memorable non-football moments at old Memorial Stadium:
• Duh! The one above, Tony Brooks’ glorious 1985 state meet. From The Reporter’s story: “Edwin Moses might have beaten Tony Brooks Saturday but it was obvious no one wearing the uniform of a Texas high school was going to.”
• The 1977 state track meet. Rockdale wins the state championship and Johnny (later to be Johnny Lam) Jones brings Lampasas from last to first during his anchor leg in the 4-by- 400 meter relay.
• A state meet in the 1980s where a tornado was sighted heading toward the stadium and 16,000 fans huddled under the stands with rain so heavy it formed indoor waterfalls rolling over the tops of bleachers.
• The 1939 inauguration of Texas’ impeccable showman governor, W. Lee “Pappy Lee” O’Daniel. Sixty thousand showed up, 37 bands played, a squadron of war planes flew over and a choir of 10,000 children sang “Beautiful, Beautiful Texas,” written by O’Daniel his own self.
• I didn’t witness that in person but I did this one. Fred Akers may not have been everybody’s favorite coach but I became an unshakable Akers fan one night in the 1970s in the Memorial Stadium press box. Upon learning a young Rockdale lad, and UT fan, had lost his father three days previously, Akers searched the press box for souvenirs, autographed them on the spot, then found a janitor and had him open a locked storage area to get some more.