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Brownlee, who swept to District 4-4A and Region I-4A titles in April,
is a perfect 9-for-9 this season in taking those two events. On Friday,
he'll try to do it for the 10th and final time this season, at the
University Interscholastic League Class 4A Track and Field Championships
"I'm really excited about it. I've been working towards it since my
sophomore year," Brownlee said Wednesday. "All the time I've spent
running and throwing really came into play."
Brownlee had to get off a 58-foot-2 throw on his final attempt on April
26 at the Region I-4A meet at San Angelo to be El Paso Burges' Tony
White. It was his best throw of the season and seeded him first in that
event at the state meet.
"I'm still in awe. He was beat, he was done," said coach Mike Ferrell,
after White got off a 56-11 effort on his final attempt to take the
lead. "But he went out there and just got it done.
"That's the first time I've heard him grunt (while throwing) all
season. It was awesome," Ferrell said.
After playing on the Eagles' varsity football team as a junior, knee
problems contributed to Brownlee opting out of football this season
after the opening day of practice. But with his success this Spring in
track and field, Ferrell said the 6-foot-6 senior has attracted several
"Angelo State has been in contact, but they can't do anything until
after the state meet," Ferrell said. "New Mexico State University has
contacted me, and Golden West (Track Meet) sent out an invitation. It's
the premiere track meet for high school kids, so it's quite an honor for
Bryan to be invited."
Brownlee will be trying to become the first double-gold medal winner
for Pecos at the UIL state track meet with victories in both events.
Willie Mata won a gold medal in the 800 meters and a silver in the 400
meters at the 1994 Class 4A state meet, and also placed second in the
400 at state in 1995 after a third place finish as a sophomore in 1993.
In contrast, Brownlee virtually came from nowhere as a sophomore and
junior to dominate the shot put and discus in West Texas this year,
beating out Class 5A competitors at the Comanche and West Texas Relays,
along with his 4A rivals at other meets during the regular season.
"I threw 49 my sophomore year, and your supposed to improve six to
eight feet every year. Eight would be really good, but most of the time
six is about average," Brownlee said. He qualified for regionals as a
junior, but his 52-foot throw placed his second behind San Angelo Lake
View's Brandon Tinney.
"I lacked coaching my junior year. I had the basics down as a sophomore
from Mr. Wein (former coach Charlie Wein), but last year I had to pretty
much work on it myself.
"This year coach (Darrell) Erickson came out and really helped me," he
said. "I did a 180 degree with coach Erickson's help and increased my
discus by about 50 feet ... before I was going with pure strength. This
year I have a little bit better form.
Brownlee's throw of 182-foot-5 on April 5 at the Sandhills Relays in
Monahans is the second-best throw by any Class 4A competitor this year,
though his winning effort of just over 153 feet in the discus at
regionals left him left him seeded fifth on Friday at state.
After his personal-best effort in windy conditions at Monahans,
Brownlee won with the temperatures and the wind gusts both in the
mid-30s at the District 4-4A meet in Andrews with a 170-foot toss. That
throw came after he almost missed qualifying for the finals, scratching
on his first two tries.
"I had been sick the whole week and lost the feel for the discus. You
have to constantly practice or you lose your form. When I got back I
wasn't paying attention to my form or where I was stepping, just where
the discus was landing," Brownlee said. He qualified for the finals on
his third and final attempt in the prelims, then got off his winning
toss, while his brother Jeff placed second, 10 feet behind. Jeff also
qualified for regionals in the shot put, getting just over the 50-foot
mark to beat out Lake View's Cody Crill.
The weather was just as bad at regionals, with rain and temperatures in
the low-40s, which hampered all the competitors, especially during the
Friday evening discus competition.
"At San Angelo they were rushing things and didn't give us a chance to
dry off the ring. Coach Erickson gave me some pointers on how to throw
with wet ring, but I was slipping all over the place, and you have to
get balance to throw."
In-between those two meets - and on the only decent weekend of weather
in April - Brownlee competed with the Eagles' accounting team at the UIL
academic regionals in San Angelo. It was his only weekend away from the
shot and discus since the season opened in Fort Stockton on Feb. 22.
Barring a surprise cold front, temperatures in Austin should be the
best Brownlee has competed in since the Crane Relays back on March 1,
though the he would have preferred not having to compete back-to-back in
both events. The discus will start at 4 p.m. Friday at Clark Field,
adjacent to Memorial Stadium, just two hours after the shot put
"Personally, I would like to have it broken up into two days, because
it gives my arm a chance to rest," Brownlee said. "I'm not pleased with
having it on the same day, but I just have to take what they give me."
Along with Burges' White, who also qualified in both the shot put and
discus, LaMarque's Corey Middleton is expected to be Brownlee's main
competition, while Flour Bluff's Brandon Rodriguez also pulled off a
double-victory at regionals.
Middleton threw a 182-10 at regionals, and has thrown 183-3 this
season, and has gone just under 60 feet in the shot put. Rodriguez won
the Region IV-4A shot put with a 57-2 throw and took the discus by
"If I was the young man from LaMarque, I wouldn't be going in gloating,
Ferrell said. "I really anticipate a lot of good things for Bryan. It's
kind of hard for me to hide my excitement for the young man."
The annual banquet honors PHS athletes who participated in the various
varsity and sub-varsity sports during the past school year. Tickets to
the 7 p.m. event are $8 per person.
This is the second year the sports banquet has been open to the general public.
Thorpe has been the pastor at Temple Baptist in Odessa for 13 years,
after co-pastoring the church with his father, Rev. Curtis Thorpe, for
20 years. The church is the largest in Odessa, with 170 members, and
Thorpe also has served for many years as chaplain for the Odessa Permian
football team, including the 12 year period when Belew served as
assistant coach for the Panthers.
He has bee a longtime speaker at youth rallies, camps and conferences, along with revival meetings and motivational banquets.
Shawn Kemp had 22 points and 15 rebounds, and Perkins battled Olajuwon
to a standoff as the Sonics held off the Houston Rockets for a 106-101
victory and 1-1 tie in their Western Conference semifinal series
``We did more of everything tonight,'' Kemp said. ``Whatever it took to
win, we did it. Sam held his position. He used his arms against Hakeem
and was active and didn't let Hakeem catch the ball where he wanted
Now the SuperSonics are going home for Game 3 on Friday night having
accomplished their mission of getting at least one victory in The
``Going 0-2 would have made it tough to come back. We didn't want to be
in that position,'' Kemp said.
Perkins, who started only four games at center during the regular season
had 18 points, hit all four of his free throws and was 4-for-9 from
3-point range. Olajuwon, a perennial All-Star, finished with 19 points
and 12 rebounds.
Hersey Hawkins had 21 points for the SuperSonics, 17 in the first half
when Seattle built a 65-47 lead with a 31-8 charge in the final 9:25.
The Rockets made it interesting in the second half. They scored nine
straight points to cut Seattle's lead to 90-88 with 4:04 left. The spurt
featured a three-point play by Olajuwon, a 3-pointer by Clyde Drexler, a
tip by Olajuwon and a free throw by Mario Elie.
But Perkins, who started only four games in the regular season, then hit
a 3-pointer to put the Sonics up 93-88, and they held on behind the
scoring of Kemp and Detlef Schrempf. Kemp scored seven points and
Schrempf made four free throws down the stretch for Seattle, which was
31-of-33 from the line.
Knicks 88, Heat 79
New York opened what is expected to be a physical series by taking the
home court advantage away from Miami and the Knicks's former head coach,
``Miami was the best road team in the league this year,'' Knicks coach
Jeff Van Gundy said. ``If you're counting on winning just one game here
and winning the series, you're making a mistake. We're going to have to
win once, maybe twice more here to win the series.''
New York stole the homecourt advantage with near-perfect free-throw
shooting in an otherwise messy game. While the Heat made just 18 of 31
from the line, the Knicks sank 30 of 32.
New York's Allan Houston had 27 points. Patrick Ewing added 24 points,
16 rebounds and five blocks for the Knicks, who scored 16 consecutive
points in the third period to take the lead for good.
``It was that one gigantic run that did us in,'' Riley said. ``They
played as good as I've seen any team play for those six or seven
A bruising series was anticipated between two of the NBA's most physical
teams, and foul trouble plagued Miami. Alonzo Mourning missed 19 minutes
and Tim Hardaway 12.
(Copyright 1997 by The Associated Press)
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