Freshmen fuel Scorpion track team

Girls are sitting on the grass.
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© Richard Gillard/Acorn Newspapers
Camarillo High freshmen, from left, Dynn Leaupepe, Francesca DellaLibera and Mary Luna have been standouts for the girls’ track and field squad. Leaupepe is a thrower; DellaLibera stars in the long jump, and Luna excels in the high jump. © Richard Gillard/Acorn Newspapers
Freshmen aren’t supposed to be leading the pack.

At Camarillo High, three rookies are bringing home the proverbial bacon for the girls’ track and field team.

Francesca DellaLibera is a long jump phenom.

Mary Luna excels in the high jump.

Dynn Leaupepe could own a school record in the shot put before too long.

They are the up-and-coming multisport stars of tomorrow who are putting up results today.

DellaLibera has an unforgettable name and unforgettable game.

The 14-year-old freshman soared 15 feet, 6 inches in the long jump during a home meet mid-March against Channel Islands. She also competes in the 100-meter dash, 200, 4×100 relay and high jump.

She’s enjoying her first season with the Scorpions.

“The people, coaches and meets are the best part about it,” DellaLibera.

DellaLibera competed with the Camarillo Cosmos youth track club for seven years.

With the Scorpions, the freshman focuses on the long jump and 200. She will vie for Pacific View League championships in both events.

She wants to eclipse 16 feet in the long jump before this season ends.

After finishing last week’s 200 race in a personal best 27.2 seconds, DellaLibera hopes to get in the 26-second range before the summer.

“At practice I’m working on my take off,” she said of the long jump.

DellaLibera is a defensive stopper on the soccer pitch.

The daughter of Frank and Juli, DellaLibera has a 3.8 gradepoint average.

Her brother’s also in the running for coolest name of all time. Dante DellaLibera, 11, competes in track, soccer and baseball.

“Soccer’s my passion,” Francesca DellaLibera said. “But I have a future in track.”

Luna, 15, had a high jump of 5 feet against Moorpark earlier this year.

The Scorpion also competes in the long jump and triple jump.

Luna soaks up knowledge from girls’ head coach Mary Perez and jumps coach Dennis Riedmiller.

“(Riedmiller) tells me he knows I can do it,” Luna said, “and he helps me with my form.”

The precocious freshman spent fifth and sixth grades with the Cosmos before taking a twoyear hiatus. She’s made huge strides during her return.

“It took a while to get used to it,” she said of the high jump. “Once I got used to it, it came natural.”

Luna was also a scrappy post for the playoff-bound varsity basketball team that finished 19-9.

The daughter of Kelli and Marty, Luna’s a straight-A student. Her older sister Morgan is a senior at ACHS. Her younger sister Madison is a budding seventh-grade track and hoops star.

“With the high jump,” Luna said, “I want to work on form and keep pushing myself.”

Entering the week, Leaupepe had the third-best shot put mark in Ventura County at 37 feet, 1 inch.

She’d like to eclipse 40 feet this season.

The school record is 42-7, she said.

“It’s been a good new experience,” Leaupepe said. “The team is really fun and the girls are always happy. It’s always a good environment no matter what. It’s fun getting to know a lot of people.”

When she started the shot put, her first throws were in the 33-foot range. She said technique, patience and footwork are keys in the event.

“It takes time to throw that far,” Leaupepe said.

The 15-year-old is also excited to work with throws coach Michaeltore Smith, who also guided her on the varsity basketball team.

Leaupepe, who has a 3.6 GPA, led the Scorpions’ hoops team with 11.2 points and 1.8 blocks per game. Her twin sister, Lynn, is also a thrower who led the basketball squad in rebounding.

Dynn Leaupepe, who hurls the discus and is thinking about sprinting, said track helps her hoops game.

“It helps me keep my stamina and speed for basketball,” she said. “If I’m throwing, it helps with my passing and footwork.”

The daughter of Fatima and Alekana, Leaupepe has 10 brothers and sisters.

Although track is very different than basketball, the goals are similar.

“We win as a team,” Leaupepe said.

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