Shane Toy isn’t a Dodger fan, but he is especially fond of Brooklyn.
Junior Brooklyn Bellomy, to be exact.
Toy, girls track and field coach at East Valley points out, it’s easy to be fond of an athlete who can, meet in and meet out, earn your team something in the neighborhood of 20 points.
“You don’t get many athletes who can do that – maybe one or two a year if you’re lucky,” he said. “I think I can put her in just about any event and she would go out and place in it. I could put her in the open 100 or 200, the hurdles, the jumps … I think I could probably put her in the javelin and she’d do very well.”
This season, Bellomy is learning to long jump, high jump and is part of a pair of sprint relay teams, both ranked in the top five at Class 2A.
“I like to do different events,” Bellomy said. “I like to challenge myself. I like to play different sports and I enjoy learning different (track) events.”
Bellomy plays both volleyball and basketball, but relishes the track and field season.
“I really enjoy track because it is such an individual sport,” she said. “It’s not a team sport – how well you do is entirely up to you.”
Multi-sport enthusiasm runs in the family. Her older brother, Nick, was a standout running back, wrestler and track athlete.
“My freshman year was his senior year,” Bellomy said. “He really helped me with track. He worked with me and I loved it. It brought us closer as brother and sister. We still had our arguments, of course, brothers and sisters still do after all. But I enjoyed it all a lot and he really helped me.”
Toy, who did not coach the Knights last year, added the long jump to Bellomy’s repertoire this season.
“I am really impressed with how quickly she’s picked it up,” he said. “Right now I have her on an abbreviated approach so that she can work on her technique – how to set her body for take-off, in the air and at landing. She’s doing really well – she’s one of the best kids I’ve had at taking what you tell her and getting her body to do it. It’s really impressive how fast she gets things.
“We’re just now starting to add a full run-up for her. I think once we add her natural speed to her jump technique she’ll be very impressive.”
“I think I do pick things up quickly,” she explained. “I think you learn that doing so many different sports.
“Both of my parents encouraged us to try a lot of different things. I started out doing gymnastics when I was very young and we did karate. I started learning how to control my body pretty early on.”
Toy is particularly pleased with how well, and how quickly, Bellomy and his sprint relays have come together.
At the West Valley Invitational two weeks ago, the team of Bellomy, Hope Wagner, Brittany Dugger and Hannah Bowerman turned in a 52.42 second 4x100 relay and ran the 4x200 in 1:52.33.
“That’s really fast for this early in the year,” the coach said. “I don’t want to mess around with that so I am going to keep them together and just let them keep getting better together.”
And Bellomy sees them getting faster together.
“We’re still working on our handoffs,” she said. “As we get better at it, our times will keep coming down.”
The junior is on track with her high jump, her primary event.
“My personal best is a jump of 5 feet,” she said. “I haven’t cleared that yet this season, but I will. I want to clear 5-2 before the year is over and I want to have a good shot at 5-4 before I’m done.”
This is the time of the season to make big strides, she insists.
The Knights have had two solid Great Northern League meets already this season and will have two full weeks, including the spring break, to work on improving before their next outing – a GNL showdown with Cheney at West Valley, a meet Toy predicts “will decide the league championship.”
“I like spring break,” she said. “It’s a good time to work. The coaches generally tell us that they’ll be at the track during a three-hour window and you just need to show up during that time, so it’s flexible. You can just concentrate on making yourself better. We have a very big meet as soon as we get back and that motivates you.”