“He’s very chill, then when it’s time to compete it’s like he’s a completely different person.”
Scherrer, who cleared 14 feet in the pole vault early this track season, ranking him as the number-five competitor in that event in the county, is one of several talents Brookins and fifth-year LJHS head coach Paul Byrne are raving about. The junior has also long-jumped 19-feet-six inches and triple-jumped 38-feet-five-inches, in addition to an 11.6-second personal record in the 100 meters.
Others include senior Casper Abbasi, who PR’ed (set a personal record) in the 1600 meters, the metric mile, with a time of 4:43.97 in an Eastern League dual meet at home against Serra, and sophomore Matteo Babic, a hurdler.
“Casper has improved a lot since his freshman year,” says Brookins of the student-athlete, who also has times of 53.62 seconds in the 400 meters, and 2:03.58 in the 800 meters at the prestigious Mt. Carmel/Asics Track Invite. “We’re doing workouts in general as a team, so he is involved in those. He is a very driven athlete. He works harder than I want him to.”
“Matteo doesn’t take a day off,” says Byrne, who has helped ignite a geometric explosion of students going out for track from 60 four years ago to 175 this spring. Says Brookins, “He (Babic) has always been very motivated, but now his brain and his body are connected. He really wants to break the La Jolla High 400-meter record (50.0).”
Babic recorded personal records of 16.78 seconds in the 110-meter high hurdles and 40.74 seconds in the 300-meter low hurdles in the opening league meet against Serra.
Babic and Scherrer have run the 4-by-400 relay with teammates Michael Wells and Raul Jackson for a best of 3:30.96 at the Mt. Carmel/Asics event, and the 4-by-100 with Israel Sandoval and Wells in 46.60 seconds in the Serra dual meet.
With the growth in the track and field program, Byrne says, “It’s a lot of fun.” In wonderment, he relates, “When all was said and done, we handed out 175 uniforms this spring.” He credits the hard work of Athletic Director Paula Conway and the establishment of sixth-period athletics for the enthusiasm and excitement.
“We’ve got a really amazing group of freshman girls in the triple jump and long jump,” enthuses the head coach. In the triple jump, Eugenia Kritsuk and Lilly Grunski rank second-third among freshman girls in the county with bests of 32-feet-9-inches and 32-feet-2-inches, respectively. Monica O’Brien Saez and Sofia Herrler follow in a tie for eighth with 30-feet-1-inch”.
In the long jump, Grunski is third among freshmen girls with a best so far of 16-feet-2.5-inches, Kritsuk, fifth with 15-feet-9-inches, and Alexandria Young tied for eighth with 15-feet-3-inches.
Katy Cavanaugh is the number-five discus thrower among freshmen girls with a PR of 96-feet-1.5-inches.
Also, on the boys’ side, freshman Max Smith is number three in the discus with 96-feet-11.25-inches. “Our freshman class is huge,” says Byrne.