Putting in the work gave Brinkley a shot at state
That premonition will come true Saturday when Miller escorts Brinkley to the 101st UIL State Track Meet to compete in the Class 3A shot put.
The junior throws at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mike Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas.
Growing up in a family full of athletes (her father Greg played football at the University of Houston, her twin brother Ethan is the starting quarterback for the Tigers), Here is a list of Lady Tigers who have gone to the state track meet in a weight event: 1988—Wendy Brinkley, discus (6th) 1980—Angela White, discus (4th) 1978—Angela White, shot put (5th) 1966—Rebecca Peterson, shot put (Silver)
* White owns the school record of 43-0 3/4 set in 1980. Brinkley has a track trail to follow as her aunt Wendy Brinkley earned a trip to state in the discus in 1988.
She has examples all around her of what it takes to be successful.
“Emily is a hard, hard worker,” says Miller. “Sometimes she’s the only girl with the boys and she gets done what she actually needs to do.
“She set a goal, she knew she was going to have to do the work to realize it.”
Miller knows what it takes to reach the state track meet. Twenty years ago, she competed in the meet for Amarillo—in the shot put.
Stephanie Jones was fifth in Class 5A with a toss of 36-8 3/4.
“Hopefully, we’ll both be able to celebrate this anniversary,” Miller says.
While competiting in both the shot put and the discus, Brinkley admits she likes the shot best.
It shows. She is the threetime defending district champion in the shot.
“I was the same way,” Miller says. “Love one, tolerate the other.”
Most of the time, athletes performances are affected by the atmosphere of the event.
STATE TRACK MEET
What—UIL State Track Meet When—Friday-Saturday, May 11-12 Where—Mike Myers Stadium, University of Texas campus, Austin Rockdale—Emily Brinkley, Shot
put (Saturday, 1 p.m..); Juan Rubio, 3,200-meter run (Friday, 10:20 a.m.). Thorndale—400-meter relay (Tyler Miller, Seth Rutter, Colton Youngblood, Steven McKendrick) (Friday, 6:10 p.m.; 1,600-meter relay (Steven McKendrick, Keon Mays, Colton Youngblood, Seth Rutter (Friday, 9:15 p.m.). Milano—Brandon Cruz, pole vault (Friday, 9 a.m.)
The easy going Brinkley doesn’t seem to be intimidated.
“She’s been to the Texas Relays and the regional meets, she’s been under pressure situations,” Miller says. “She needs to know that all she cn do is control what she does. You never know if you’re going to be there again, so she needs to have fun.
“She has nothing to lose by being there.”
“I’ve put in so much time, all the hours of hard work,” Brinkley said. “Now, I’ve got my goal.”
Brinkley is not focused soley on winning a medal, she figures if she does her best, things will fall into place.
“I just want to get my personal best,” she said. “I’ll be fine with it if I can accomplish that.”
Brinkley recorded her career best of 38-8 at the District 23- 3A meet last month in Navasota, good enough to defend her district championship for the second time.
Brinkley enters the nine-person field with the shortest distance (36-6) and she will have to battle defending state champion Kebbeh Darpolor of Pecos who measured out at 44-04 in 2011 to capture the gold.
She will also share the field with rival Kinzie Roberts of Giddings, who snatched her district discus crown away from her and was first in the shot and second in the discus at regional to qualify for.
Brinkley was ninth in the discus.
There is a rivalry there with Roberts, but it’s mostly nonthreatening.
“We don’t say a whole lot to each other, but we know each other is there,” Brinkley said.
“Emily is a quiet threat,” Miller says.
A threat to do her best.