Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Danny Yeager placed first in the decathlon at the Region 14 Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, scoring a personal-best 6,113 points. He is headed to the national meet next month, along with his younger brother Brian and Kelly McConnell.
The track and field season came to an end nearly a month ago for most members of the Los Altos High team. Kelly McConnell and brothers Danny and Brian Yeager are still at it, though, and recently extended their seasons another month.
The trio has qualified in the decathlon for next month’s USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in North Carolina. The decathlon comprises 10 events, including runs, jumps and throws.
The Yeagers and McConnell – representing Los Altos-based track club Fox Athletics – advanced by placing first or second in their age groups at the USATF Region 14 Junior Olympic Multi-Events meet held June 15 and 16 in Rocklin.
Danny, who graduated from Los Altos in May, won the Young Men Division (ages 17-18) and incoming senior McConnell finished second. Brian, entering his junior year, placed first in the Intermediate Boys Division (15-16).
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-bound Danny scored a personal-best 6,113 points in the decathlon at the regional meet.
“Danny made nationals last year in the decathlon, but this year I hope he can get on the podium and earn All-American honors,” said Dave Barth, who coaches track for Fox Athletics and at Los Altos High. “I believe he is very capable.”
Brother Brian isn’t as experienced in the event, but he has proved to be a quick study.
“We had to twist Brian’s arm a bit to get him to try a decathlon, (and) sure enough he goes out there and he wins it,” Barth said. “Both Yeager boys are such incredible athletes with lots of raw talent. They will continue to get faster and stronger in future years.”
For McConnell, it took a second-day surge – the decathlon is a two-day event – to seize runner-up status at the regional.
“After Day 1, Kelly was in fifth place,” Barth said. “However, he took it one event at a time and we knew that he had a good shot of moving up in the rankings since Day 2 of the decathlon consists of hurdles, throwing and the 1,500, which are geared toward Kelly’s strengths.”
Next comes the national meet, slated July 22-28 in Greensboro N.C.
“We now have a month to work on some of the boys’ weaker events to get them prepared for North Carolina,” Barth said last week. “These guys probably practice four or five of the 10 events consistently, so with lots of focus on technique, they may be able to improve upon their marks quite a bit come mid-July.”
For more information on the upcoming national meet, visit usatf.org and click “Events/Calendar.”