And a freshman shall lead them
For Dae Dae Davis, she’s not only competing, she’s leading the way.
The Rockdale freshman pulled off a seldom-seen daily double in the hurdles, capturing first place in both the 100-and 300-meters at the District 18-3A track meet at Cougar Stadium.
The Tigers send 11 athletes to the first-time area meet on Wednesday and Thursday (April 17-18) which will be held again at College Station High School.
The top four finishers advance to the area meet, being held for the first time in Class 3A.
The regional meet will be held March 26-27 at Turner Stadium in Humble
The Tigers finished fifth as a team behind champion Taylor’s 181, while the Lady Tigers were fourth with 81 points behind champion College Station, who reveled in the home field advantage with 197 points.
The weight and field athletes had to fight off a drizzling rain and bone-chilling temperatures on Thursday, but runners were able to take advantage of a picture perfect day on Friday.
Speaking of perfect, Davis chalked up her first win in the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 16.27, edging out teammate Hailey Wright (16.96).
She then claimed her second gold medal in the 300-meter hurdles, clipping College Station’s Gabbi Orzabal at the tape, 47.64 to 47.62.
Davis just missed out on establishing a new school record in the race, close behind Camille Campbell’s 47.56 set at the district meet in Caldwell in 2006.
“Dae Dae is an outstanding athlete first and foremost” said Rockdale track coach Stephanie Miller, “but this isn’t the only factor in her success.
It is quite possible that Davis became the first Lady Tiger to take first at district in both hurdle events.
“Dae Dae went through a growth process early in the season being a freshman on varsity,: Miller said. “She made some adjustments, and it all came together for her in the finals. I was very happy to see her step up as a freshman and run with so much poise and maturity.”
With three years remaining, the Rockdale record book may be in for some changes as far as Davis is concerned.
“As far as where she stands among the greats in Rockdale history, her times are very close to the school records. To accomplish this as a freshman speaks for itself.”
While Davis’ sparkling performance was somewhat of a surprise, there was nothing shocking about Emily Brinkley’s dominance of the weight events.
The steady senior doubled down and easily captured the district title in both the shot put and the discus.
She tossed the shot 34-feet, 5 inches and measured off a throw of 97-7 to take the discus.
In her final district track meet, Brinkley leaves as a four-time district champion in the shot put.
She has also pocketed a pair of district crowns in the discus, the other coming in 2011.
Brinkley is aiming to make a second straight appearance at the state track meet. Last year, she went in the shot put.
“Her dedication and commitment are the reasons she’s been able to achieve what she has over the last four years,” said Rockdale track coach Stephanie Miller. “As Emily ends her throwing career, her level of excellence she has maintained should serve as a standard for future throwers.”
Senior Juan Rubio hoped to join Brinkley as a dual champion in the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run where he previously reigned, but was knocked off his pedestal by upstart College Station freshman Jonathon Bishop.
Rubio—the two-time defending champion in the race and state track meet participant in 2012—did not go down without a fight and in the 3,200 on Friday on the chilly track, he and Bishop changed places throughout the race.
Rubio led the first half of the race before being overtaken by Bishop and coasted until the 150- yard mark when he regained the lead, only to have Bishop surge ahead at the end for the victory.
Bishop clocked in at 10:02.38, followed by Rubio’s 10:04.86.
In the 1,600 under clear skies on Friday, Bishop held off Rubio again 4:36.76 to 4:43.24 for gold. His time in the 1,600 was also better than last year.
Rockdale featured two more district champions in juniors Josh Pelzel and Autumn Davenport.
Pelzel, a regional qualifier in the shot put last year, captured district in the discus with a heave of 121-10, just three inches in front of Taylor’s Jonathan Dupy.
The 6-foot-6, 324-pound Pelzel will also compete in area in the shot put after placing third at 41-4 in a crowded competition.
Davenport recorded a leap of 4-8 to take the high jump.
While not claiming a district crown, Wright cut a steady path to the medal stand and is going to area in four events.
The versatile junior followed Davis in the 100-hurdles (second) and 300-hurdles (third) and was also fourth in the long jump.
She is also a part of the sprint relay squad that finished fourth, that also includes Davis, Edricka Burns and Miredda Payne.
Sprinter Nick Young moves on in a pair of events, the 100-meter dash (second) and 200-meter dash (fourth).
Young was second to Navasota’s Jerbrell Lipscomb in the 100 by 9/100ths of a second.
Nic Gonzalez was second in the pole vault at 10-6 to earn a regional trip.
Also, Lisa Vest will join the Rockdale area array after Caldwell discus thrower Abigail Royal was forced to drop out because of injury.
Emily Brinkley—Shot put*,
Dae Dae Davis—100-hurdles*, 300-hurdles*
Juan Rubio—1,600, 3,200
Haley Wright—Long jump,
Nic Young—100, 200
Josh Pelzel—Discus*, Shot
Nic Gonzalez—Pole vault
Sprint relay—Dae Dae Davis,
Edricka Burns, Haley Wright,