COLUMBUS — Brett Brooks was certain he wasn’t going to have a good day Saturday at the OHSAA Division I Track and Field Championship.
He didn’t perform well in the shot put.
His warm-up throws in the discus were not going in the feel-good department.
Yet, somehow, someway, the Wilmington High School senior dug deep and found a way to make it a good day.
Real good, in fact.
Brooks had a personal best effort and finished as the runnerup in the state meet, capping his WHS career by placing in the top eight in two sports in the same season.
“It wasn’t what I wanted,” Brooks said of his second place performance. “I wanted the (champion)-ship. But I’m happy to be here.”
Brooks’ placement will earn him a place on the Wilmington Athletic Wall of Fame, alongside cousin Monica Howard who won the girls state discus championship in 2007.
“She’ll probably give me (grief) for finishing second,” Brooks quipped.
Second was far from his mind, though, when his day started at noon. He didn’t make the championship flight – top nine – and ended his prep shot put career after just three throws at state.
But being in the shot and discus area at Ohio State can be intimidating, so Brooks getting the nerves settled in the shot put helped him as the day went on.
“It kind of gave me a boost,” he said.
After a lackluster shot put effort, Brooks went to the discus with confidence.
But it didn’t last long.
“Warm-ups were not very good,” he admitted. “They weren’t bad. I just wasn’t rotating enough. I thought it was going to be a bad day, to be honest.”
When the competition started, Brooks first throw left his hand and soared through the warm Columbus air.
A great start.
“It felt good to get it out there,” he said.
As the first flight of throwers went about their business, Brooks’ 162 remained on top. He then came upon his second throw. As he spun in the ring and released the discus, Brooks fully expected his 162-0 to remain his best.
The second throw … “I thought it was going to be short of 160, to be honest,” he said.
It wasn’t though. It was better than 162. The discus soared 164-3 from the front of the ring. It was Brooks’ personal best and made him the firm leader after the first flight.
“Everything clicked,” said WHS throws coach Eileen Grosse. “I’m so proud of that kid.”
In the end, there was only one throw the rest of the day that eclipsed Brooks’ two best throws and that came from Jakob Oldenburg, the eventual state champion who went 167-10 with his first throw in the second flight.