Mercer repeats regional track sweep; Boyle boys third

Published 11:53 am Friday, May 26, 2023


Contributing Writer

If the purpose of a regional meet is to prepare your team for the state meet, Mercer County is in the right place.

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The Mercer track and field teams were pushed to the limit Tuesday in their bid to extend their run of regional championships, and they made off with the trophies once more only after a pair of extremely close competition.

The Mercer girls won their fourth consecutive Region 2A-5 title after finishing just 3½ points ahead of two teams that tied for the runner-up position, and the Mercer boys made it three in a row when they finished 8½ points clear of the second-place team.

It was by far the closest finish for either team in the current run of regional victories, and Mercer coach Terry Yeast said it was excellent preparation for next week’s state meet and the defense of their Class 2A championships.

“I say this all the time, (this region) is by far the most competitive region, so I feel like every year region always prepares us,” Yeast said. “I know that this is an excellent, excellent region, and I’m super proud and I think it’s got us ready.”

Yeast said the wins did not come without some anxious moments.

“This is the most stressed I’ve been since the 2016 boys (state) title where it came down to the 4-by-4 (relay). Today I felt about like that,” he said.

The Mercer girls won seven of 18 events and had 11 other scorers, and they needed every one of them to score 107½ points and edge East Jessamine and Corbin, who tied for second place with 104 points each.

Mercer got 78 points from three girls — Teigh Yeast, Clayra Darnell and Lindsay Jessie — who won seven individual events between them.

“That core of those three young ladies really stepped up,” Terry Yeast said.

Terry Yeast said Mercer also had plenty of help from other athletes and relay teams who picked up points all along the way.

“We had a lot of depth that really helped pull us through. Some kids that probably weren’t ranked to score really came through and got some points,” he said.

Teigh Yeast led the way with the biggest achievement to date in what has been a breakout season for her. The freshman won regional championships in the maximum four events: the 100-, 200- and 400-meter runs and the triple jump.

“Going into the meet I was already supposed to be scoring 40 points. I just had to make sure I did that,” she said.

Teigh Yeast is ranked first in Class 2A in the 200, 400 and triple jump going into her section of the state meet June 2 in Lexington.

“My base event is the triple jump and I’ve worked a lot on that, but I have been working the past two or three weeks on my starts. I definitely can (see a difference),” she said.

Clayra Darnell won regional titles in the 1,600 and the 3,200. Jessie, who is ranked No. 1 in her class in the girls discus, won that event and was second in the shot put.

Those points helped Mercer overcome the loss of Jai Maria Piazza, a senior who is ranked No. 1 in Class 2A in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and long jump but didn’t compete in any of them. Her night ended early after a fifth-place finish in the 100 in which she aggravated a hamstring injury suffered a couple of weeks earlier.

Mercer is also without senior Timberlynn Yeast, who won the 200 and 400 at last year’s state meet. She ran only a leg of the 3,200 relay as she continues her recovery from knee surgery last fall.

The Mercer boys didn’t win as many events but got points from more places as they outscored Corbin 141-132½. Mercer won four events — two fewer than Corbin — and had 16 other scorers.

“Corbin has a fantastic team. I knew that coming in, and they definitely made me sweat a little more than I wanted to,” Terry Yeast said. “That was a great battle.”

The Mercer boys were led by Beau Brown, who won the 100, 200 and 400 and finished fourth in the long jump. Brown is ranked No. 1 in Class 2A in the 100 and 200 and is the defending state champion in the 200.

Thaddeus Mays won the triple jump and Kyler Sallee won the 300 hurdles for the Mercer boys.

The Boyle County boys finished third after winning three events. Cooper Brummett won the discus — he is the defending state champion and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A in that event — Andrew Lockhart won the shot put and the 800 relay team won.

The Boyle girls were in fifth place and got a victory from Jaden Owens in the pole vault.

Germani Crosby of Lincoln County won the girls shot put, where she is the defending state champion.

Luke McQueen of Casey County prevailed in a strong field in the boys shot put that included defending state champion Lleyton Penn of Mercer and Andrew Hardwick of Boyle, who were first and second in the state last year and second and third in this meet.


Region 2A-5 Championships


At Boyle County

(Area results)


Team scores (13 scoring teams) — 1. Mercer County 141; 3. Boyle County 79; 8. Casey County 14; 10. Garrard County 8; t11. Lincoln County 4. 3200 relay — 2. Mercer County (Marshall Hart, Liam Potts, Sam Lewis, Kyler Sallee) 8:23.72; 6. Boyle County (Micah Brown, Max Germann, Diego Montoya, Baron Wiley) 8:55.66. 110 hurdles — 2. Jordan Piazza (Mercer County) 15.43; 3. Thaddeus Mays (Mercer County) 15.91. 100 — 1. Beau Brown (Mercer County) 10.87; 2. Geordon Brown (Boyle County) 10.96; 3. Eli Short (Boyle County) 11.23. 800 relay — 1. Boyle County (G. Brown, Brock Driver, Short, Jerome Johnson) 1:31.35; 4. Mercer County (Collin Warren, Tytus Weldon, Mays, Sallee) 1:34.92. 1600 — 4. Germann (Boyle County) 4:47.84. 400 relay — 3. Boyle County (G. Brown, Johnson, Driver, Short) 44.58; 5. Mercer County (Warren, Weldon, Morgan Pennington, Piazza) 45.54. 400 — 1. B. Brown (Mercer County) 49.07. 300 hurdles — 1. Sallee (Mercer County) 42.43. 800 — 6. Potts (Mercer County) 2:08.15. 200 — 1. B. Brown (Mercer County) 21.79; 6. Short (Boyle County) 23.97. 3200 — 2. Hart (Mercer County) 10:02.67; 3. Germann (Boyle County) 10:09.32; 6. Lewis (Mercer County) 10:26.19. 1600 relay — 2. Mercer County (Sallee, Mason Sanders, Warren, Hart) 3:34.80; 6. Boyle County (Trent Blakemore, Johnson, Maximus Kilby, Connor Young) 3:43.94. Shot put — 1. Luke McQueen (Casey County) 56-8; 2. Lleyton Penn (Mercer County) 56-3½; 3. Andrew Hardwick (Boyle County) 51-6; 5. Caden Semrau (Mercer County) 46-1½; 6. Cooper Brummett (Boyle County) 45-2½. Discus — 1. Brummett (Boyle County) 169-7; 2. Andrew Sparks (Garrard County) 163-4; 3. Hardwick (Boyle County) 161-4; 4. McQueen (Casey County) 158-7; 5. Penn (Mercer County) 146-6; 6. Byron Collier (Mercer County) 139-5. Long jump — 2. Donavan Wright (Mercer County) 20-8½; 4. G. Brown (Mercer County) 20-4½; 5. John Rahbany (Boyle County) 20-3; 6. Keaton Pendleton (Lincoln County) 20-1. Triple jump — 1. Mays (Mercer County) 42-10¾; 2. Piazza (Mercer County) 40-7¼; 5. Pendleton (Lincoln County) 38-11½; 6. Brycen Mullins (Lincoln County) 38-11½. High jump — 5. Grant Frisby (Boyle County) 5-6. Pole vault — 1. Andrew Lockhart (Boyle County) 13-0; 2. Mays (Mercer County) 13-0; 4. Weldon (Mercer County) 11-0.


Team scores (12 scoring teams) — 1. Mercer County 107 1/2; 5. Boyle County 60; 7. Lincoln County 32; 10. Casey County 4. 3200 relay — 5. Boyle County (Laykin Gatton, Izzy Phillips, Maggie Powell, Aubrey White) 11:40.17; 6. Mercer County (Clayra Darnell, Adriana Polhemus, Timberlynn Yeast, Alexis Benham) 11:57.36. 100 hurdles — 4. Annabelle Tarter (Boyle County) 17.53. 100 — 1. Teigh Yeast (Mercer County) 12.49; 3. Payton Byrd (Lincoln County) 13.31; 5. Jai Maria Piazza (Mercer County) 13.68; 6. Hallie Stafford (Lincoln County) 13.80. 800 relay — 3. Boyle County (Sharon Heist, Stella Thompson, Shelby Thompson, Maleeah Smith) 1:53.69. 1600 — 1. Darnell (Mercer County) 5:30.87; 4. Abby Vaughn (Casey County) 5:57.29. 400 relay — 4. Lincoln County (Jaryn Smith, Carlie Sneed, Stafford, Byrd) 54.92; 5. Boyle County (Janelle Roberts, Smith, Sh. Thompson, St. Thompson) 56.00; 6. Mercer County (Myona Russell, Jael Wooldridge, Leah O’Dell, Deliyah Minor) 58.99. 400 — 1. Te. Yeast (Mercer County) 57.04; 2. Heist (Boyle County) 1:02.39. 300 hurdles — 5. Mia Kilby (Boyle County) 54.61. 800 — 2. Gatton (Boyle County) 2:35.27. 200 — 1. Te. Yeast (Mercer County) 25.66; 3. Byrd (Lincoln County) 27.83; 5. Heist (Boyle County) 28.52; 6. St. Thompson (Boyle County) 28.89. 3200 — 1. Darnell (Mercer County) 12:02.41; 4. Polhemus (Mercer County) 13:29.16; 6. White (Boyle County) 13:56.73. 1600 relay — 3. Mercer County (Katie Lewis, Grayson Perry, Ralasia Piazza, Darnell) 4:25.99; 4. Boyle County (Gatton, Heist, Lucy May, Tarter) 4:29.29. Shot put — 1. Germani Crosby (Lincoln County) 38-7¾; 2. Lindsay Jessie (Mercer County) 36-7; 6. Zyanya Crosby (Lincoln County) 28-0. Discus — 1. Jessie (Mercer County) 106-2; 2. Avery Jackson (Boyle County) 92-10; 5. Z. Crosby (Lincoln County) 86-10. Long jump — 5. R. Piazza (Mercer County) 15-6; 6. Sh. Thompson (Boyle County) 14-2½. Triple jump — 1. Te. Yeast (Mercer County) 39-5¼; 2. R. Piazza (Mercer County) 35-4; 6. St. Thompson (Boyle County) 31-3½. High jump — 5. R. Piazza (Mercer County) 4-8. Pole vault — 1. Jaden Owens (Boyle County) 8-6; 5. Russell (Mercer County) 7-0; 6. Perry (Mercer County) 7-0.


Shot put — 5. Alex Bradley (Mercer County) 49-9. Long jump — 1. Bradley (Mercer County) 25-9. 100 relay — 1. Mercer County A (Hayden McGuire, Bradley) 15.00; 3. Mercer County B (Sam Bafundo, Delbert Hafley) 20.14; 4. Mercer County C (Bradyn Spurlock, Riley Boutin) 20.88. 400 relay — 1. Mercer County (Dominick Garza, Bradley) 59.83.