Area Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year: Camden's Dominic Brooks proved himself as area's fastest
Camden senior earns honor for second time
By Craig Moyer
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
CAMDEN — Camden’s Dominic Brooks works hard every day in practice and gives it his all at every race from the beginning of the season all the way to the regional and state final meets.
The hard work pays off, as Brooks has been named The Daily Advance’s Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year for the second-straight season.
The senior also took first place at the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 1A East Regional meet for the second year in a row, finishing with a time of 17 minutes and 42.15 seconds to land his team in third place overall Oct. 28.
Brooks, who is a leader for the Bruins at meets and practice, said he was honored to receive the award a second time and believes hard work is just part of the sport.
“I run every race the best I can,” Brooks said. “I feel like if you are going to go out there and do the sport, you might as well present yourself well and do the work.”
Camden head cross country coach Victoria Black, in her first season as the team’s head coach, saying having Brooks on the team was very helpful.
The head coach said Brooks is a great role model for the rest of the team and makes sure they work hard in practice and at meets.
“He pushes everybody to try to reach his level, he is like a coach, he keeps everybody accountable at practice, it is nice to have him on the team,” Black said.
The senior also finished first at the Albemarle Athletic Conference championship meet with a time of 17:59, landing his team in first place overall and qualified for the state championship meet where he finished 22nd with a time of 17:35.64.
After finishing 10th at the state meet his junior year at the same course in Kernersville, Brooks said he had a game plan laid out, but did not feel like he was there physically and did not achieve one of his better times.
“As soon as I finished I knew I could have done better, but that’s how the dice rolled at the time,” Brooks said.
Black attributed Brooks’ struggles at the state meet to the cold weather, saying the rest of the season was very warm, so most of the team tensed up in the cold weather at the championship race.
The Bruins’ coach said Brooks pushed himself very hard all season, but not every meet is going to give you ideal conditions to run in.
This season was also the second-straight year Brooks had teammates on the boys team, after being the only boys cross country runner for Camden in his sophomore season.
The senior said sometimes some of his teammates slack off at practice, but said they all prove their worth and work hard at meets.
Despite three-straight successful seasons and being named area runner of the year his final two seasons, Brooks is still not set on running cross country in college.
Black said she hopes to see Brooks pursue cross country at the next level and said she feels he can still improve as a runner.
“He is hopefully going to look to bigger and better things where he can accomplish better times and improve as he goes on, I really think he will continue to get better,” Black said.
Brooks said he is hoping to get scholarship to run cross country at the next level and is looking at several programs including UNC and Methodist, but said cross-country is not entirely a deciding factor in his selection.
“I will still run for fun, but as long as the college has the classes and major I want, then I am good,” he said.
Brooks said he is planning to major in software engineering and hopes to one day have a job designing the software for every-day electronics.
Along with the departure of Brooks, the Bruins boys cross country team will also be without seniors Anthony Cordy and Jeff Bryant next season.
Black said the senior class will be greatly missed and she will have a much less experienced team next season.
“Losing Dom and losing the rest of the seniors is going to be very hard but it is going to be a learning experience,” Black said.
Dominic Brooks, Camden, Sr.: Area Runner of the Year, Albemarle Athletic Conference Boys Runner of the Year, AAC first-team all-conference member, NCHSAA 1A East Regional champion, NCHSAA 1A State Championship finalist. Concludes prep career a three-time All-Area team member.
Jeff Bryant, Camden, Sr.: Ends prep career as a two-time All-Area team selection. Albemarle Athletic Conference first team all-conference selection, posted a 12th place finish at the 1A East Regional, 1A State Championship finalist.
Ethen Osborn, Camden, Soph.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference first team selection, 1A East Regional finalist, 1A State Championship finalist.
Blake Meadows, John A. Holmes, Soph.: Albemarle Athletic Conference all-conference first team selection, 1A East Regional finalist, 1A state championship finalist.
Travis Clark, Northeastern, Sr.: Northeastern Coastal Conference all-conference selection. NCHSAA 2A East Regional finalist, 2A State Championship finalist.