Daily News spotlight athletes: Woodland Hills' Isaiah Brooks, West Mifflin's Deilona DeVaughn
School: Woodland Hills
Sport: Track and field
Claim to fame: Brooks placed first in the 200 meters with a time of 22.39 seconds, edging Jimmy Wheeler of West Mifflin (23.40) by one-tenth of a second, at the Baldwin Invitational.
“Isaiah probably has the hardest work ethic I've seen,” coach Paul Beard said. “When we give him a workout to do, we know he will do it 100 percent. He does extra work and does not complain. We're a small, young team, and he is one of our leaders. He's taking the leadership role on very well and has really helped our younger athletes. He was the state champion in the long jump for indoor this year as well. We're hoping that he can bring us a state title for one of his outdoor events as well.”
Have you ever been in a race that was that close before?
Yes, I was in one at the Mars Invitational this year against (Gateway's) JaeLen Means. He beat me by a lean right at the finish line.
What was going through your mind when you approached the finish line?
I was just thinking about how bad I wanted to win that medal and how I had got my mind in the right place. I was ready and had all of my thoughts on my run.
Why do you think you were able to win that race?
Definitely my training first of all. Also, I just wanted it so bad. I just really pushed myself.
What do you enjoy about track?
It's a lot of fun, and I really love the competition. I also like making new friends. You get to know a lot of different people. At first, you might not know a lot of people, but you show what you can do and you get to see what other people can do and you make a lot of friends. At meets, everyone is hanging out and laughing, and it's always a good time.
Do you play any other sports? Which do you enjoy most?
I also play football but I have to say I like track the most. It's just a lot of fun. I guess I also prepare myself more for track. You have to prepare for both, but track is just so much fun.
School: West Mifflin
Sport: Track and field
Claim to fame: DeVaughn won the discus ,with a distance of 129 feet, 4 inches and placed third in the shot put (40-10.75) at the Baldwin Invitational on Friday.
“Deilona is a very good athlete,” coach Mike Mazzarese said. “She started for the basketball team and does both the high jump and javelin during dual meets. She set school records in the discus and the shot put as a junior and broke both of those records again this year. She has matured as an athlete as well. She isn't as awestruck in the big meets anymore. She knows what she has to do.”
How did it feel to do so well at the Baldwin Invitational?
It felt amazing because my goal every year is to improve over what I did last year, and I improved tremendously in both at the meet. I broke my record in the shot put and discus, and I actually just broke the shot put record again (Tuesday at WPIAL qualifier).
Were you confident you were going to do so well?
I was a bit surprised in discus. I wasn't sure I was going to get first. Overall, though, I had a plan going into Baldwin. I just wanted to do the best I can.
Who or what inspires you?
I don't have a specific role model. My record and past times and distances are what motivate me to go further. My coaches motivate me to keep pushing on as well.
Which event do you enjoy more?
Discus because it's just a rush. I like sitting there waiting for my turn. When it's your turn, you have to go up there and show your technique and prove yourself.
What class do you enjoy the most?
I would have to say psychology because it's about the mind and the different people out in there in the world.
— Robert Stinner