Devyn Weisenberger turns running into art.
The sophomore track and field standout for Rio Mesa High has perfected her running form as a masterpiece of movement.
“She runs like a gazelle,” head coach Brian FitzGerald said of Weisenberger. “She’s a natural athlete. It’s hard to determine where she can fit in. If we needed to, we can put her in a lot of different events.”
The 16-year-old sprinter thrives in the 400-meter race and the 4×100 and 4×400 relay events. She’s also competed in the high jump and triple jump.
“She’s a great track athlete because she can do so many things, and she’s good at all of them,” FitzGerald said. “She has a huge range.”
The Camarillo resident played soccer as a child. It wasn’t until her parents, Jay and Lisa Weisenberger, signed her up for track at the age of 6 that she realized she had a knack for the sport. She didn’t see the signs early on, but she was destined to run.
Her dad ran track in high school. Her older brother Drew and older sister, Camryn, also competed at Rio Mesa. Younger brothers Keith, Deacon and Carter are future track stars.
Now, Devyn Weisenberger never stops running. During the fall, she dominates foes for the cross country team. She took second place in the Pacific View League finals this year before jumping onto the track.
She said the transition between running distances and sprints is tricky.
“It’s really different,” she said. “It’s kind of hard. There’s not a lot of time, so you just try to get used to it.”
Weisenberger is adjusting very well.
She set a personal best in the 400 at the Thousand Oaks Invitational on March 21. She blazed through the event in 58.82 seconds.
She joins forces with Aizabelle Sarmiento, Patricia Leggett and Yasmeen Rasheed as Rio Mesa’s top relay team. The tightknit group is only one reason she likes track more than cross country.
“I’d rather do events,” she said. “In cross country, you just do three miles, but in track you get to do all these other things.”
FitzGerald said the sophomore excels in any event, but he thinks her future is in the 800.
“I believe she’ll eventually be an 800 runner,” he said. “She’s in the 400, but the 800 will really be her best race. I think she’ll run that at the collegiate level.”
For now, Weisenberger is simply focused on improving.
“I just want to try to get better,” she said. “I want to try to get into the 57s for the 400.”
CATCH UP WITH THE SPARTANS
Rio Mesa High’s track and field team is off to another hot start.
The girls’ and boys’ teams are both undefeated after two Pacific View League meets.
“The girls look like they’re in good shape to win a league title,” head coach Brian FitzGerald said. “The boys look good too.”
Greg Vann, who will run at the University of Oklahoma next year, leads the Spartan boys. Vann, a senior, excels in the long jump and 100-meter dash. He’s one of the top long jumpers in California.
Cameron Wrout, the football team’s quarterback, is a senior sprinter to watch.
Fellow senior Jimmy FitzGerald, Brian FitzGerald’s nephew, is the Spartans’ top distance runner. He’ll take his talents to Northern Arizona University next season.
Junior Anthony Flores is the team’s top thrower.
“The boys’ will have to get past Pacifica,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s probably our biggest challenge.”
Junior sprinter Zaria Francis, a Camarillo transfer, leads a stacked girls’ team.
Fellow junior Patricia Leggett, who suited up for the girls’ basketball team in the winter, and senior Yasmeen Rasheed are two of the team’s fastest sprinters.
Junior Auburn Griffith is back to lead the distance runners.
Markie Mulchay, a junior, and Bridgett Smith, a sophomore, are standout throwers.
Kierra Sherrod is a freshman hurdler to watch.
Get to know the Spartan
Devyn Weisenberger, 16, is a standout sprinter for the Rio Mesa High track and field girls’ team. The versatile sophomore, who took second place in the Pacific View League for cross country, excels in the 400-meter run and the 4×100 and 4×400 relays.
Band: Maroon 5
Athlete: Drew Weisenberger,
TV show: “Psych”
Vacation spot: Coeur
d’Alene Lake in Idaho