Mercer’s Yeast wins 4 titles; Brown wins 3 to lead boys’ repeat
Published 2:59 pm Monday, June 5, 2023
By MIKE MARSEE
LEXINGTON — There was no way to top Teigh Yeast.
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On a day when the Mercer County boys added to their string of state championships and their top performer rewrote two state records, no one won more than Yeast.
The Mercer freshman won four events Friday in the Class 2A meet at the KHSAA State Track and Field Championships, scoring the maximum number of points possible for an individual.
Yeast swept the girls 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes and won the girls triple jump, making her the only athlete in any of the state’s three track and field classes to score 40 points this year.
“It feels good,” Yeast said. “Forty points is as much as you can score.”
The only athlete who came close to equaling Yeast was Beau Brown, her counterpart with the Mercer boys.
Brown, a senior, won the three boys sprints and set records in two of them to lead the Mercer boys to their third consecutive Class 2A championship and their fifth in seven seasons.
“To sweep all three, there’s no other feeling like that,” Brown said.
The Mercer boys’ team victory was a narrow one. After winning by 24 points a year ago, they outscored runner-up Bourbon County 74-72.
“The boys made it a little more interesting,” Mercer coach Terry Yeast said.
An exhausted Brown had to sweat out a few anxious moments with 1,600-meter relay teammates Kyler Sallee, Collin Warren and Marshall Hart as they waited for the final team scores to be posted after finishing 11th in their race.
“That last (race) I was dead,” Brown said. “I was glad we ended up getting it.”
By that time, Yeast had already wrapped up her day with a victory in the triple jump after winning her three races — the same three races that older sister Timberlynn, who missed the state meet as she continues her recovery from knee surgery in December, competed in last year.
“For Teigh to literally take her place in the events that she’s done and to sweep them just made it as a dad even sweeter,” Terry Yeast said.
Teigh Yeast won all three races with career-best times. She leaned at the line to win the 100 by .04 seconds, then won the 400 by almost three seconds in 56.22.
“My 56.22 in the 400 really surprised me, and my 200 time (24.83), too,” she said.
But her 40-point performance came as no great surprise.
“No, this is what I expected to do,” Teigh Yeast said.
Brown broke the Class 2A records in the 400 at 48.16 seconds and in the 200 at 21.46. He was the defending state champion in the 200 and second in the 100 last year, but he said his 400 time was a surprise to him because he was new to that event this season.
“I was close last year to getting the 200 state record … so this year it’s been my goal all year … but in the 400 I definitely exceeded my expectations. I had no idea I was going to go 48.1,” he said.
Brown leaves high school for a career at Centre College with six state championships, gave up spots in two sprint relays this season, then pulled out of the long jump after qualifying for state in that event to anchor the 1,600 relay.
“He’s always done everything I’ve asked him to do,” Terry Yeast said.
Both Brown and Teigh Yeast said they benefited from the friendly competition they had with each other during starting block training with Mercer football coach Craig Yeast, a former state champion in the 400.
“I’ve been getting out faster on my reaction time and I’ve been talking. This past week he got out so he started talking back,” Teigh Yeast said.
“A couple days before state we were doing block starts and we were competing, and I’d look over at her and she’d beat me out of one and it’d be embarrassing and all the coaches would go crazy,” Brown said. “But Teigh’s been like a little sister to me all season.”
Junior Thaddeus Mays won the triple jump and sophomore Jordan Piazza won the 110 hurdles for the Mercer boys, who scored in nine events.
The Mercer girls, who won a Class 2A championship last year, had only seven athletes competing but scored 61 points in seven events. They were shooting for second place, but they were six points short of that mark as they settled for third.
“They scored four points more than I thought they could, so I’m very, very proud of them,” Terry Yeast said.
Lincoln County freshman Germani Crosby defended her title in the girls shot put, winning by almost 3 feet with a personal-best throw of 38-11.
“I was really going for a 39 or 40 this year, but I’m just proud of myself for making it back to state again and having the confidence to push myself further,” Crosby said.
Boyle County’s best finish came from sophomore Geordon Brown, who was runner-up in the boys 100, just .13 seconds behind Beau Brown.
KHSAA State Track and Field Championships
At University of Kentucky, Lexington
Team scores (46 scoring teams) — 1. Walton-Verona 64; 2. Louisville Collegiate 56; 3. Bishop Brossart 53 1/2; t16. Danville Christian 12. 200 — 2. Emmanuel Dut (Danville Christian) 49.89. 1600 relay — 7. Danville Christian (Noah Imfeld, Noah Meyer, Titus Boyd, Dut) 3:36.70. High jump — 6. Dut (Danville Christian) 6-0.
Team scores (39 scoring teams) — 1. Beechwood 100; 2. Bishop Brossart 68; 3. Lexington Christian 52; t34. Danville 1.
100 — 8. Kaidence Key (Danville) 13.11.
Team scores (44 scoring teams) — 1. Mercer County 74; 2. Bourbon County 72; 3. North Oldham 65; t5. Boyle County 40; t32. Casey County 4; t32. Garrard County 4.
100 hurdles — 1. Jordan Piazza (Mercer County) 15.32. 100 — 1. Beau Brown (Mercer County) 10.77; 2. Geordon Brown (Boyle County) 10.90. 800 relay — 4. Boyle County (G. Brown, Brock Driver, Eli Short, Jerome Johnson) 1:32.35. 400 relay — 3. Boyle County (G. Brown, Johnson, Driver, Short) 43.65. 400 — 1. B. Brown (Mercer County) 48.16 (Class 2A record, old record 48.23, Shawn Jackson, Paducah Tilghman, 1985). 200 — 1. B. Brown (Mercer County) 21.46 (Class 2A record, old record 21.53, Josh Ellis, Paducah Tilghman, 1995). 3200 — 5. Max Germann (Boyle County) 9:46.51; 6. Marshall Hart (Mercer County) 9:59.73. Shot put — 2. Lleyton Penn (Mercer County) 58-11 1/4; 3. Andrew Hardwick 54-10; 5. Luke McQueen (Casey County) 53-11. Discus — 4. Cooper Brummett (Boyle County) 162-11; 5. Andrew Sparks (Garrard County) 160-7; 6. Andrew Hardwick (Boyle County) 158-7. Long jump — 2. Donavan Wright (Mercer County) 22-2 1/2. Triple jump — 1. Thaddeus Mays (Mercer County) 44-3 1/2. Pole vault — 4. Thaddeus Mays (Mercer County) 12-6; 6. Andrew Lockhart (Boyle County) 12-0.
Team scores (36 scoring teams) — 1. Lexington Catholic 83; 2. Mason County 67; 3. Mercer County 61; t20. Lincoln County 10.
100 — 1. Teigh Yeast (Mercer County) 12.40. 1600 — 6. Clayra Darnell (Mercer County) 5:28.12. 400 — 1. Yeast (Mercer County) 56.22. 200 — 1. Yeast (Mercer County) 24.83. Shot put — 1. Germani Crosby (Lincoln County) 38-11; 4. Lindsay Jessie (Mercer County) 34-7 3/4. Discus — 2. Jessie (Mercer County) 105-6. Triple jump — 1. Yeast (Mercer County) 37-10; 4. Ralasia Piazza (Mercer County) 35-7 1/4.
Shot put — 3. Alex Bradley (Mercer County) 59-9 1/2; 7. Riley Boutin (Mercer County) 48-4 1/2. Long jump — 2. Bradley (Mercer County) 25-8. 100 relay (2×50) — 1. Mercer County (Hayden McGuire, Bradley) 14.64. 400 relay (2×200) — 3. Mercer County (Dominick Garza, Bradley) 59.36.