The Woodland Hills track team was a force to be reckoned with in the early 2000s.
In the years when Steve Breaston and Ryan Mundy, both of whom went on to NFL football careers, and Cambrya Jones, who excelled in track at Pitt and fell just hundredths of a second shy of making the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in the 200 meters, were running, Woodland Hills was burning up the track.
"We also have multiple other athletes who have gone on to compete at the Division I and II levels, most with scholarships," Woodland Hills track coach Rick Yeager said. "The last few years the team has fallen off and lost some of its excitement and drive, but now Woody High Track is back on track and poised to make a comeback."
Leading the resurgence for the track team are seniors Desiree Garland and Tyrell Jones, and sophomore Isaiah Brooks.
"We also have many young up and coming athletes that will compete at a very high level this season," Yeager said, noting that with combination of the leadership of Desiree, Tyrell and Isaiah—and the hard work and dedication of all the athletes—Woodland Hills is looking forward to a great season."
A multiple sport athlete, Desiree has excelled in basketball for her entire career at Woodland Hills. Her hard work and dedication has resulted in her scoring 1,000 career points.
She is also a member of the cheerleading squad. Desiree found track in her junior year and instantly excelled at the sport, breaking school records in the 400-meters, high jump and 4 x 400m relay, Yeager said.
She also qualified for the State Championships in Shippensburg. Desiree is 104th out of 7,797 in the 400-meter dash in the national indoor track rankings. Yeager said she is hoping to improve upon that standing in the coming weeks at the Tri-State Championships and PTFCA State Championships.
Desiree will also be looking to qualify for the New Balance National Indoor Championship Meet in New York City in March.
Tyrell and Isaiah are brothers who work hard on and off the track. Tyrell is nationally ranked in the 60-meter and 200-meter dash. Isaiah is nationally ranked in the long jump. The brothers work hard to make sure that they are making the grades—and both have part-time jobs to help out their family with expenses, Yeager said.
Tyrell is ranked:
- 48 out of 4,850 in the country in the 60-meter dash
- 107 out of 32,142 in the 55-meter dash nationally
- 107 out of 8,326 in the 200-meter dash nationally
- 5th in the 100-meter dash at the state championships last year
Isaiah is not only an excellent football player, but is nationally ranked:
- 18 out of 15,620 in the long jump
- 13th in the long jump at the State Championships last year (The only freshman to qualify for Boy’s AAA Long Jump)
"Funny thing is that Isaiah did not want to do the long jump," Yeager said.
Yeager and the other coaches entered him into the long jump in the Latrobe/Hempfield Invitational and had to force him to do it.
"He ended up winning the long jump in the first meet he ever competed in that event," Yeager said. "After that, he was hooked and has been improving ever since."
Both Tyrell and Isaiah have qualified to compete in the New Balance National Indoor Championships in New York City in March.
"We look forward to carrying this success and momentum from the indoor season into the outdoor track season and have our sites set on section team titles, some WPIAL and state championships, and quite possibly a new state record or two," Yeager said.