Track: CPU Mile Record Goes From Father To Son

By Jeff Linder and Scott Saville, Reporters

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By Grant Burkhardt

CENTER POINT, Iowa — It’s hard to tell who was more elated when Center Point-Urbana’s 1,600-meter record went down.

The new record-holder? The old record-holder?

They have the same last name.

“It was pretty emotional,” said Larry Yeager, whose son Josh eclipsed his 24-year-old standard Thursday. “I had held the record for a long time, and I’m glad it was Josh who broke it.”

A sophomore at CPU, Josh Yeager raced to victory at the Tiger Relays last week in 4 minutes, 31.35 seconds.

“It was really cool,” Josh said. “For the record to go from Dad to me, it makes me really happy.”

The record wasn’t really on Yeager’s mind when he stepped to the starting line.

“I was really aiming for Drake (Relays) qualifying,” he said. “(Michael) Melchert (of Monticello) was there, and we were talking about going for Drake.”

Yeager and Melchert had raced earlier this season, with Melchert pulling away in the final lap. At Tipton, Yeager changed his tactic.

“We have tremendous respect for Melchert — and the Monticello team — and I’m very proud that Josh is able to run with him,” CPU Coach Lew Paine said. “Josh built a 20-meter lead and was able to hang on.”

As he usually is, Yeager’s father was on the backstretch for the race.

“That’s my job, reading his 200-meter splits,” said Larry, who ran 4:32 for Center Point in 1989, the final year before it merged with Urbana. “As a distance runner, that’s where you need the most help, because nobody is usually over there.”

A fifth-place finisher at the state cross country meet last fall, Yeager now owns two school records in track.

He set the 3,200-meter mark (9:53.84) earlier this season. Both of his marks probably will have to improve a bit more to make the field at Drake.

Beyond that, Yeager said his “main focus in on the state meet. I would like to finish in the top three (in Class 3A) this season, then I’d really like a state title at some point.”

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