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Long Jump Record Changes Hands But Stays in the Family

By Staff | May 18, 2016

Photo by Ed Parsons Wildcats’ Zach Yeater flies through the air but lands on his feet to beat a 27-year-old long jump record at the state regional championship recently at St. Mary’s High School.

Breaking a high school sporting event record is always a thrill!

That’s exactly what happened on May 12 at St. Mary’s when Paden City senior Zach Yeater snapped a 27-year-old Wildcat record with a leap of 21′ 7.5″ to win the long jump at the regional championship. Yeater’s jump was extra special because the old mark belonged to none other than his father, David Yeater, who propelled 21′ 2.75″ at the Pepsi Invitational at John Marshall High School in 1989. The elder Yeater’s jump bested a 22-year-old leap by former P.C. athlete Denny Price set in 1967.

Zach, who transferred to Paden City from Hedgesville – a AAA high school – for his senior year, now has the leading jump in the state heading into the championships this weekend.

“I am excited to have had the opportunity to play sports and be a part of the community of Paden City. I am proud to wear the green and white and follow in the footsteps of my parents,” he said.

Zach is the son of David and Jennifer Yeater of Paden City and the grandson of Susan Wade and Gail and Judy Yeater, all of Paden City, and Dennis and Becky McMullen of Cumberland, Ohio. David and Jennifer were both standout athletes at Paden City with David playing basketball, baseball and football. He was on the 1988 track team that won the OVAC Class A title. He later went onto perform in track at WVU in the long jump before a career-ending injury. Jennifer was a four-year volleyball player for the Wildcats, class of 1990.

Zach carries a 3.1 GPA and has plans to enter college after graduation where he is contemplating offers to compete in track at Glenville and West Liberty. He is planning on waiting until after the state track meet to announce his intentions. He also qualified for the state meet in the 4×200. During the season, Zach has also competed in the 4×100-meter relay, 4×400-meter relay and the 200-meter dash. He has earned his varsity letter as a member of Paden City’s football and basketball squads.

Zach’s track coach, Kim Huffman, said he has come far as an athlete in his first year at Paden City.

“The highlight came as he was able to beat his dad’s long time school record in the long jump,” she said. “Zach has been a pleasure to coach. I am confident his future is promising not only in sports, but in all he endeavors.”

PC basketball Coach Fred King added, “Zach was a nice addition to our team this year and gave us another strength player.”

The Yeater family said they would like to thank the community for the warm welcome they’ve received and for accepting Zach as a student and athlete at Paden City High School.

“It’s a nice example of the type of people and community Paden City is known for, we are proud to be a part of Wildcat town,” they said.

Best wishes go out Zach as he is on track to break the all-time long jump mark of 22′ 1.75″ set in 2012 by Zain Cremer of South Harrison. Hopefully, his momentum will propel him to his second record of the year.