Justin Criado profiles Woodland Hills track standout Isaiah Brooks.
"Woodland Hills senior Isaiah Brooks is the reigning WPIAL Class AAA triple jump champion, but his hop to the top last year may not have happened if coach Paul Beard didn't get him on the long jump runway his freshman year, much to the chagrin of his then-runner-only pupil.
"He didn't want to do long jump. He said he was a runner, just the 400, 200 and 100 meter, and 4x100 and 4x400 relays," Beard recalled. "Those were the only events he wanted to do and I told him I wanted him to try the long jump.
"He was actually going to scratch himself out of it and I tried to kick him off the team if he did, but he went, jumped and took first place. Ever since that it just took off. His jumping, he just never stopped."
After that inaugural win in Latrobe, Brooks worked with throwing coach Rick Yeager, who studied up on jumping just to mentor Brooks. Not to mention, last year was Brooks' first year competing in the triple jump when he won the championship with a jump of 45 feet, 7¾ inches, while finishing as the WPIAL and PIAA runner-up in the long jump. He also finished as the WPIAL runner-up in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.34 seconds."