Being selected as an umpire for the U.S.A. Track and Field Olympic Trials in 2012 was the memory of a lifetime for Terry Yeast, but being selected a second time may be just as sweet for the Mercer County track and field coach.
Yeast, who was named the new Mercer County coach earlier this fall, was one of 12 umpires selected in the United States.
“Being one of 12 people selected is very humbling,” said Yeast. “There are so many strong officials in the United States and everyone wants to be at the top events, so getting this opportunity is overwhelming.”
So what does being an umpire at the U.S.A. Olympic Trials consist of?
“I am placed on the track and I look for violations during the running races,” said Yeast.
Looking for violations also comes with big responsibility. So much responsibility that Yeast said it is sometimes hard to enjoy everything going on during the moment.
“It is really hard in the midst of it to really enjoy the event, because you are so focused on making sure you don’t make any mistakes,” said Yeast. “You are in a position where you may determine whether someone gets to go to the Olympics, so it is a little nerve wracking.”
Yeast found out he was selected to work the Olympic Trials, which are held July 1-10 in Eugene, Ore., while at a USATF Meeting last week.
“I was at the USATF Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas, where you go through trainings. On Saturday we had an officials meeting and at the end of the meeting the lists are posted on the wall out in the hallway. You just go out in the hall and see if your name is on the list,” said Yeast.
Was Yeast nervous about not being selected?
“I was just hoping my name would be on the list,” said Yeast. “You are always a little nervous whether or not you are going to get the opportunity.”
Until he leaves for his second stint as an Olypic Trial umpire, Yeast plans to freshen up his skills and enjoy being the Mercer County track and field coach.
“The good thing is knowing that I have seven months, so I will have an opportunity to brush up on some skills. I will take some time in 2016 to umpire some more meetings, so that I am totally prepared,” said Yeast. “It is going to be exciting.”