Scheels Athlete of the Week: Hard Work Helps Solon Junior Yeomans Get Off to Strong Start
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – There are plenty of differences between a 5,000-meter cross country race and running an 800 in track.
The correlation that Solon junior Michael Yeomans has found between the two races has been a key to his success in both events.
“The last mile in cross country and the 800 I just pretty much go all out,” Yeomans said. “That’s the main thing I’ve learned about both.”
That all-out mentality has helped make Yeomans a three-time state cross country qualifier with a pair of top-40 finishes at the 3A state meet.
Incorporate his strong cross country finish onto the track this spring has Yeomans off to a stellar start to the track season.
Yeomans is unbeaten in the 800 this spring after winning back-to-back 800-meter races in a span of three days last week.
He won the 800 at the Clear Creek Amana Invitational on Thursday and turned around and won the event again on Saturday afternoon at the Hollingsworth Relays at West High.
“He’s been really, really good in workouts,” Solon coach Mark Sovers said of Yeomans. “He has really trusted the process that the coaches have laid out for him and he’s doing a great job of competing in practice.
Yeomans hasn’t just won he’s put up impressive times early in the season.
He record back-to-back personal best times in his first two races of the season clocking a 2:02.61 at the Tipton Early Bird on March 28.
Yeomans followed with a personal best time of 2:00.91 at Clear Creek Amana on Thursday.
“I just wanted a pr,” Yeomans said. “My previous pr was 2:02 at the last meet so I wanted to be faster than that today.”
Yeomans has spent the time between cross country and track working on his sprinting speed.
Work that is paying off early this season.
“I’ve really been working on my sprinting mechanics getting my knees up and my hips underneath my legs,” Yeomans said. “I think it’s helped me.”
On Saturday he won the 800 at the Hollingsworth Relays in a time of 2:01.79 and currently has the third fastest 800 time in Class 3A this season.
Yeomans was part of the Solon 4×400 relay team that was runner-up at West High in a time of 3:30.55 and ran the 400-meter anchor leg on the Spartans runner-up sprint medley relay team.
“It’s just basically his invest in himself in practice doing what it takes to set himself up for success,” Sover said. “He works really hard.
For Yeomans hard work leading to success is nothing new.
He was 33rd at the state cross country meet as a freshman and 40th at the 3A meet last fall.
“If you tell him a race strategy, or tell him what you want to do at practice he will just go do it,” Sovers said. “There are no questions, no saying he doesn’t want to do it, he just goes and does it.”
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