Reluctant decathlete Brian Yeager has no regrets about competing in the event at last month’s USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in North Carolina. The Los Altos resident finished eighth in his division, earning All-America honors.
“I did well,” said Yeager, who went against 18 other decathletes in the Intermediate Boys division (ages 15-16). “I think I’ll stick with it.”
Yeager took up the decathlon – comprising 10 events, from running to throwing to jumping – in the spring with some prodding from coach Dave Barth and older brother Danny Yeager, who along with fellow Los Altos resident Kelly McConnell also participated in the national meet.
“Brian did not even want to compete in the decathlon this summer, so to finish as an All-American is tremendous,” said Barth, co-head coach of the Los Altos-based Fox Athletics track club.
That wasn’t the only medal Brian won at the meet, held July 22-28 at North Carolina A&T State University. He finished eighth in the high jump to notch the final All-America spot in that event as well.
“For Brian to earn All-American in the decathlon and then come back later in the week and do it again in high jump is an incredible accomplishment,” Barth said.
Brian cleared 6 feet, 1 inch in the high jump – an inch shy of his personal record.
“I was happy with that,” said Brian, entering his junior year at Los Altos High.
Brian added that he was proudest of his performance in the 110-meter hurdles as part of the decathlon, held over the first two days of the meet in hot and humid conditions. He finished first in the race with a personal-best time of 15.86 seconds.
“That was great,” said Brian, who beat his previous-best time by 1/500th of a second. “I hadn’t practiced (the 110 hurdles) in over a month.”
Brian notched two more top-five finishes in the decathlon – in the high jump (second) and long jump (fourth). He totaled 4,901 points.
Brother Danny and McConnell finished 14th (5,870 points) and 26th (5,038), respectively, in the Young Men division (17-18) decathlon.
“Making it to nationals is a great accomplishment,” Barth said. “The fact that Danny and Kelly both finished in the top 30 in the Young Men (division) makes our coaching staff very proud.”
Danny graduated from Los Altos High in May; McConnell is entering his senior year.