Coast to Coast

Phillip Brents

Fri March 25, 2016 1:27pm

Former Maryland preps shine at Eastlake High School, are you hip?

Reilly Maxwell and Isabella Hook are both relative newcomers to Eastlake High School but it didn’t take them long to make an impression. The two teens originally hail from Maryland but have since made Chula Vista their home. Both have embedded themselves in the school’s sports fabric as multi-talented student-athletes.
Hook is a state tournament qualifier in girls wrestling while Maxwell hopes to qualify for this spring’s state track and field championship meet. Both agree on one thing: the local lingo has taken a bit getting used to.
“There’s a lot different slang,” explained Maxwell, a senior. “‘I’m hip’ is what we say in Maryland. It means ‘I agree with that.’ “Here, it’s ‘Dude!’ It’s awful but now we’ve become used to it.”
Both girls competed as members of last fall’s girls field hockey team, helping Eastlake to an 8-4 league and 11-10-1 overall record. The Lady Titans finished in a second-place tie with Bonita Vista in the Metro Conference standings and earned a first-round playoff berth.
Eastlake’s season came to an end following a 2-0 loss against eighth-seeded Rancho Bernardo in the Division II San Diego Section playoffs. But other horizons have since opened for the two Maryland transplants.
Hook, who served as a co-captain on the school’s girls field hockey team, became part of school history as one of two San Diego Section individual weight class champions during the just completed girls wrestling season.
Hook, who won her 123-pound weight class, joined teammates Loraine Tejano (152-pound champion) and Jasmine Stewart (second at 118 pounds) on the awards platform at the section finals held Feb. 12-13 at Clairemont High School as state tournament qualifiers.
Hook, a junior, was introduced to the sport in Maryland while watching her brother compete on the mat. She learned a few moves, but girls wrestling was not offered at her school. When she found out there was a girls wrestling team at Eastlake, she jumped at the opportunity to compete. Hook placed fourth at 118 pounds last year.
“I’ve done so well because I’ve been around it for so long,” she said. This isn’t to say that Hook is a brute on the mat. What entices her about wrestling is actually more the mental aspect of the sport than the physical.
“It forces you find out what your body’s limits are,” she said. “It’s not physical, how much stronger you are than your opponent, but how much more mentally stronger you are because you keep pushing yourself.”
Maxwell hopes to showcase her multi-talented abilities as well. Her best times during the 2015 outdoor season in Maryland were 26.90 in the 200-meter dash, 1:03.10 in the 400-meter dash, 17.65 in the 100-meter hurdles, 48.56 in the 300-meter hurdles and 14-8.5 in the long jump.
What’s different from California is high schools on the East Coast have a winter indoor track and field season that precedes the spring outdoor track and field season.
“It’s kind of hard to play sports when it’s 10 degrees outside and snowing,” Maxwell noted.
Hook, who preceded Maxwell to the West Coast by one year, said she still misses her large extended family on the East Coast. She also misses the heavily forested areas in the Mid-Atlantic state.
“I miss the woods there,” Hook said. “You can play and get lost and have adventures. The fall is just so beautiful.”
Maxwell misses the food, particularly her favorite Old Bay seasoning for blue crab, the Maryland state crustacean and that state’s largest commercial fishing enterprise.
“The seasoning they put on it in Maryland is Old Bay,” she said. “The original Old Bay factory is in Maryland. You can only get blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. You can get them everywhere in shops. Even in the holes in the wall you can get good blue crab.”