Evan Brooks Named Freshman Of The Year- Helps Samford Win Track Championship
BIRMINGHAM- When Evan Brooks signed an athletic scholarship to run track for Samford University he had a thought process of setting a goal of winning championships for the Bulldogs’ program. The super-talented athlete from Madison Academy didn’t have to wait long as the freshman sprinter was part of the program that won both the men’s and women’s Southern Conference (SOCON) Indoor Track and Field Championships.
In the process of being a big part of the men’s team, Brooks was also named the Freshman of the Year in the SOCON for his outstanding performances as he was second in the 60-meter (6.87 seconds) and third in the 200-meter (21.69).
“Receiving the award was definitely a blessing as it shows all of my hard work I’ve put in since arriving on campus back in September,” said Brooks. “I tried contributing to the success of our team when I arrived and I’ve learned a lot from the upper classmen on the team and the coaches here at Samford.”
After sweeping the team titles at the SOCON Indoor Championships in Lexington, Va., Samford claimed six of the eight awards voted on by the league coaches. With Brooks earning his award after he posted 14 points in the meet to help lead the Bulldogs to their first men’s title in school history, the squad also earned Coach of the Year for head coach Rod Tiffin as the women won the title for the fifth consecutive year.
Included on the women’s squad is Vada Samuels who prepped at James Clemens High. The sophomore finished third in the 400-meter sprint race with a time of 56.87.
For Brooks, who has a 3.7 grade point average midway through his freshman year while studying sports marketing and finance, he said he has worked feverishly on his block start technique and trying to get away from his forced running form he had in high school. He added, “I’m now running naturally and feel better and doing better.”
“I couldn’t have done all of this without God and the support of the Samford community and the Madison Academy community back home as they were always solid ground for me since I began track as a sophomore,” said Brooks.
At Madison Academy, the 6-foot, 170-pound Brooks was a two-sport threat setting school records in track and an award winning defensive back for the Mustangs in football. He chose Samford over numerous bigger schools including Auburn, Miami and Louisville. After signing with Samford he said, “Visiting the campus I just got the feeling I could be somebody and get a great education.”
In the upcoming outdoor season, which gets underway March 20, Brooks will participate in both the 100 and 200-meter sprints. “I’ve made my goals for the inside track season, now it’s time for the outdoor season,” he added.