Lawrence is enjoying one of its best seasons in decades and MVC long jump champ Julio Berroa is a big reason why.

“Julio is probably the most gifted athlete that I have ever coached. He is our team MVP,” said Lancer coach Bill Meuse. “He creates a competitive atmosphere during practice which makes our team better.”

In this week’s Around the Horn, Berroa spoke about his competitiveness, his and the Lancers’ success and his unabashed love for Lawrence.

What did it mean to you to win the MVC long jump title? “It means a lot. All the work I’ve been putting in with my coaches, it paid off. It was awesome.”

Was that a career best? “Yes. That was my first time over 21 feet. I had done 20-4.”

Were you over 21 feet just once in the meet? “Twice. The first was the 21-5 then I had a 21-0.”

Your teammate, Darryl Munoz, was second. Are you two competitive? “Yes. He’s a sophomore. He pushes me. I tell him to push me. We’re friendly.”

What are your other personal bests this season? “In the 400 51.4, in the high jump I think 5-10 or 5-11.”

Lawrence is having one of its best seasons in ages. What did it mean to place second out of 11 teams at MVCs and to win the regular season MVC Division 2 title? “It’s really good. Our coaches push us to the limit to get better. It’s all about how much you work. We showed what we’ve got.”

You must be proud? “It’s a pretty good feeling. I love my team.”

What are your goals for (yesterday’s) EMass. Division 1 meet? “For the long jump, I’m trying to go for 22 feet. I’m working hard. I think I can make it happen. I love my 4x400 team (Kelvin Infante, Fabian Tineo, Marino Pimental). We are trying to get Andover.”

Do you play any other sports? “Soccer and indoor track. I was a co-captain in soccer. I’m one of the leader in track.”

Soccer or track? “My main sport was always track. I’m a runner, I love running.”

What’s your favorite personal athletic achievement? “Breaking the 4x400 school record, we’ve broken it like three times. And the 21-5 long jump and winning MVC (Division 2) three seasons in a row (spring 2014, spring 2015, winter 2015).”

Take us through your athletic career. “Freshman year I did baseball. But in middle school I did track. Sophomore year I did indoor track but I was not 100 percent into it. Junior year I did indoors and outdoors.”

Could have made varsity baseball? “I think I’m good enough. I played with guys on the team.”

Did you always live in Lawrence? “I came from the Dominican Republic to Lawrence in 2008. I’m proud to come from Lawrence. I like it here. I like the people. I like the school. I enjoy it here. It was great to come here.”

How big are you? “5-10, 153 pounds.”

Any plans for next year? “I really don’t know right now.”

Any other athletes in the family? “Not really. I have two little sisters. They are 3 and 4.”

What’s something people don’t know about you? “I like to compete. I’m a happy person. I’m a fun person to be around. I like to ride bikes.”

What’s your pet peeve? “When people are disrespectful to older people. I don’t like that.”

Who’s your dream date? “Angelina Jolie.”

Do you work? “I work at Little Caesar’s in Lawrence.”

Do you have any pets? “I’m trying to get a dog.”

Are you involved in any other extra-curricular activities? “I did a triathlon this year in Lawrence: it was swimming, biking and a 2-mile run.”

Who famous do you follow on Twitter-Facebook? “Kobe Bryant.”

That shameless gunner? “He’s my favorite basketball player. That’s my boy.”

If you could take a selfie with anyone, who would it be? “(Olympic sprinter) Allyson Felix.”

How many texts do you send in a day? “A lot.”

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Follow Michael Muldoon on Twitter at @MullyET

Julio’s Favorites

Song: Energy by Drake

Group or singer: 2 Chainz

Actor-actress: Will Smith and Angelina Jolie

Movie: Insidious

TV show: Blue Mountain State

Athlete: Allyson Felix

Food: Chinese food and hot dogs

Car: Acura TSX

Restaurant: Fire and Ice

Teacher: Erin Gerardi for entrepreneurship

Deep and talented

Talent and depth sparked Lawrence to a second-place finish at the MVC Championships.

Individual scorers:

Event Place Name Score

Long Jump 1. Julio Berroa 21-5

100 1. Jacob Toledo 11.22

High Jump: 1. Benammi Rodriguez 6-2

Long Jump 2. Darryl Munoz 21-1.75

200 2. Kelvin Infante 22.99

800 3. Edward Quezada 1:58.25

Long Jump 4. Kelvin Infante 20-3.75

400H 4. Fabian Tineo 57.11

Triple Jump Fabian Tineo 40-8

Discus 5. David Morales 123-11

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