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Taliyah Brooks Heads to the Olympic Trials

Taliyah Brooks Heads to the Olympic Trials

The Rider graduate, now an Arkansas Razorback, takes her prowess on the track to the top


 A former elite Rider track and basketball star will compete in the Olympic trials for the heptathlon in July.


Taliyah Brooks, a Razorback with the University of Arkansas, has continued amassing accolades as a college track star in the same way she did on the track at Rider High School in Wichita Falls.


In 2016, the redshirt sophomore was the NCAA Indoor Runner-Up (pentathlon) and three-time indoor All-American. She collected several personal bests at the Razorback Invitational in the 800 m, the 60 mH, and the long jump, pacing her to a pentathlon PR of 4,457, the second best performance in the program’s history.


She was the 2016 Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays champion with a score of 5,991 points.


More accomplishments:

·      Outdoor Honorable Mention (100H)

·      2015 SEC Outdoor All-Freshman Team (heptathlon)

·      Four-time indoor All American

·      2016 Indoor Second Team All-SEC (pentathlon)

·      2015 SEC Indoor All-Freshman Team (pentathlon)


Just more of the same

Her many college accomplishments follow an impressive high school career where she broke the school records for the 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, the high jump, the long jump and the 4x400m relay.


At Rider, she was regional finalist in hurdles, high jump and long jump, the Texas Relays long jump champion, and a state qualifier and medalist in the 100 meter hurdles as a junior. She lettered in track and basketball all four years of high schools and was named Academic All-District for four consecutive years.


Athletic family

She is part of the Brooks family and one of three athletic siblings – along with sisters Jasmine and Mercedes – to make history at Rider. Their parents, Robert Brooks and Diann (Clark) Brooks, were also standout athletes.


Her father, Robert, was a 1990 Rider graduate who played in the Oil and Greenbelt Bowls and was the Most Valuable Player at the Greenbelt Bowl.


Also a 1990 graduate, her mother, Diann, was a sharpshooting guard for Archer City.


Jasmine and Taliyah grew up competing against one another and took their competitive spirit to Rider. One year Jasmine set the Rider school record in the long jump, and Taliyah broke it later that same year.


During her only year at Rider, Jasmine won a regional title in the long jump, placed third in the state event that year, and set the school record in the 1,600 relay with her team of Taliyah, Ashley Burnham and Jennifer Sissel.


Jasmine went on to sign with UT-Pan American, setting records as a freshman, then transferred to Texas Southern, where she continued to excel.


Family members still making their marks

Sister Mercedes is making her mark in Rider basketball. She helped the Lady Raiders to their first regional tournament and she is now focused on earning a state title.


Two younger siblings are also in the WFISD system. Robyn is a Rider sophomore on the Lady Raiders basketball team.  She won a TAPPS state title in the long jump last year at Fort Worth Lake Country Christian.


Robert Brooks, Jr., is a McNiel Junior High seventh-grader. He plans to attend Rider and compete in track, football and basketball.


Coming next: Olympic trials

Taliyah’s next hurdle will be July’s Olympic trials. Her competition in July’s Olympic trials heptathlon will require her to compete in the following events. On the first day: 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200 meters. On the second day, she will compete in the long jump, javelin and the final event, the 800 meters.


Thanks to Jonathan Hull for his Times Record News report Jan. 8, 2016, on the Brooks family, which was a source in this report.