Mercer track members break school records
Five individuals along with relay team in record books
The start of the 2019 track and field season has been good to the Lady Titans.
They’ve placed first in all five events they have competed in which include: Boyle County All-Comers, Great Gator Invitational, Mercer All-Comers, Pulaski County Invite and the Lindsey Wilson Blue Raider Rumble.
The Lady Titans have scored a total of 849 points this season, including a 73.75-point margin of victory.
Some of their eye-opening wins saw them defeat second place East Jessamine 216-89 at Mercer All-Comers and 202-74.50 over second place Spencer County at the Blue Raider Rumble.
Along with winning all five of those meets, five individual Lady Titans broke school records during that time.
Junior Jasmine Claunch broke her own school record in triple jump (36-08.00) at the Blue Raider Rumble on Saturday, April 6.
“It’s one of the best feelings out there to break a school record, especially when it’s your own. It goes to show the improvement and growth over time,” said Claunch. “We no doubt have the best coaching staff in Kentucky and that contributes to a lot of the success. I just continue to always work hard and keep God at the center of all I do because he’s the one who has blessed me with the ability to jump. I’m also convinced we have the best jump coach in Kentucky as well. Coach Morris always pushes me to be the very best jumper I can be, from doing technique drills to breaking down films. I’m excited to see what the rest of the season has in store.”
Junior Zoë Yeast broke her own school record in shot put (36-03.00) at the Pulaski County Invite on Saturday, March 30.
“It means a lot to me. It makes me feel like I’m actually making progress and getting somewhere and I have no one to thank for that except my coaches and the great support system I have from my team,” said Yeast. “I just try to stay grounded, out of my head and do everything my coaches tell me to do because I know they know what’s best and want nothing more than for me to succeed.”
Eighth grader Timberlynn Yeast broke the school record in the 200 meter dash (26.79 seconds) at the Pulaski County Invite.
“Breaking a school record meant so much to me. My dad being the coach has pushed me to be the best and to always ne hungry for more. By being focused during warm ups and making sure I get a good stretch had mentally and physically prepared me for my events,” said Yeast. “Coach Morris has helped me get a quick start by helping me with my blocks and to get out quick, which helped me get ahead. This was such a great feeling and to be able to experience such a great accomplishment, but I couldn’t have made it this far without hard work and the blessings I’ve received from God.”
Junior Calicia Smith broke the school record in the 100 meter dash (13.21 seconds) at Boyle All-Comers on Tuesday, March 19.
“I feel very blessed that I have achieved such a great accomplishment. Starting to work harder each and every day made me realize what I can actually accomplish,” said Smith. “With little preparation, I was able to push myself within a week to be the best that I can possibly be. But I will continue to strive to get better. With blocks, form and footwork I was able to learn and grow as a runner. Coach Morris and Coach Yeast have taught me that I always have to strive and put in the extra work to be the best and improve. Being at a very competitive school, it is very important that we aim to be the best that we can be. With their help, I was able to achieve such a great accomplishment and there are many more to come.”
Sophomore Harlee Settles broke the school record in the 100 meter hurdles (17.46 seconds) at Mercer All-Comers on Tuesday, March 26.
“It means a lot. It proves that our school and our athletes are able to compete at a high level. We’ve put in a lot of work this season and we want to continue to push and show we deserve to win state this season,” said Settles. “Before I run, I usually try to think about making myself better and improving my own time. Coach Flach taught me the fundamentals of hurdling and Coach Yeast pushes me to be my best every single day. Without them, this record could not have been broken. With their help, I am going to keep pushing myself to get better each and every practice and meet.”
The 4×800 meter relay team which consists of Smith, freshman Love Mays, eighth grader Jai Maria Piazza and junior Abby Steele broke the school record in the event (1:47.47) at the Blue Raider Rumble.
The Lady Titans have state title aspirations this season after placing second at the Class 2A state track meet last year, their highest finish ever at the event.
After the boys team won back-to-back state championships in 2016 and 2017, it’s the girl’s time to earn their place at the top.
PHOTOS BY ARPAN DIXIT AND JULIA WEABER: