The time fighterPublished 8:21pm Saturday, April 20, 2013
Contrary to the once popular Rolling Stones song, time is not on the side of Myron Brooks. In fact, it’s the enemy.
The Pam Pack sophomore has been fighting time since the start of the track and field season and though he has won some battles the war rages on.
Just a tick over two seconds, or approximately the time it takes to read this sentence, is all Brooks needs to shave down to qualify for the NCHSAA 3-A regionals in the 400-meter dash, but only in the world of track and field can such a short amount of time feel like an eternity.
“It’s a lot to drop,” Washington coach Jon Blank conceded. “But with him being such a young runner in this race it’s actually not that far away from what he can do.”
When Brooks, who moved to Washington this year from Baltimore, first arrived at Pam Pack practice he showed up with nothing more than the desire to compete.
After auditioning the 5-10-, 160-pounder in several events, Brooks finally found a home in the 400-meter dash.
“At first I was a sprinter, but I had more endurance than some of the other sprinters,” Brooks said. “The first time running the 400 I was doing pretty good, not great but pretty good. Then I started learning the race and I got more familiar with it and became one of the faster guys at the 400.”
At first, Brooks was clocking in around 56 seconds, not bad for an inexperienced runner, but over five seconds away from the automatic regional qualifying time of 50.5. Over time, Brooks has managed to drop his time down to 52.7 thanks to an unquestioned work ethic.
“He’s improved a whole lot since Day One,” Blank said. “We had to do a lot of technique work with him but he’s been so willing to work on everything from technique to starting blocks to endurance. He’s just become a better runner.
“… When we met him we had a feeling he could produce something, we just didn’t know what or how long it would take him to adjust. But with him its been a fast learning curve because he’s put it the extra work. He’s a great kid.”
That extra work begins around the same time most of us are getting ready for work. While new to Washington, it did not take long for the sophomore to get acquainted with J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium as Brooks familiarizes himself with the steps every morning before school.
“My favorite (basketball) player is Kobe Bryant and he said that in the morning he goes out and runs the steps in the stadium while nobody else is around as a way to try to be the best,” Brooks said. “I want to be the best, I want to practice to be the best, I want to perform to be the best so I come out here before school starts around 8 a.m. and run the steps and practice my track routines.”
As of now, time may not be on Brooks’ side, but like the Stones’ song says, he’ll keep running back, and one day he will win his battle.