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Editor's note: Each week, The Wake Weekly will honor a local high school senior athlete who put in years of work in a sport, but who won't finish their final season after COVID-19 ended spring athletics.
RALEIGH — This week’s student-athlete of the week is Wakefield track athlete Taylar Yost.
She was born in California and her family moved to Raleigh when she was a 1 year old. Yost went to Wildwood Forest Elementary and Wakefield Middle before joining Wakefield High School.
She has a twin sister named Danielle and a younger brother named Tailen. Both of them run track; Danielle competes in the 300-meter hurdles and Tailen participates in the 800-meter run.
Yost juggled different sports since elementary school, including cheerleading at Wakefield High. But later she found her calling in track and field.
“Throughout elementary school, I participated in fitness events and tried out for the track team in seventh grade,” Yost said. “I played soccer growing up, so I was into running all my life. I saw a girl hurdling my freshman year, so it got me into the sport. Also, my mom ran hurdles in high school.”
She said she wanted to follow in her mom’s footsteps.
Yost stands out as one of the best hurdlers on Wakefield’s track team. Her personal record in the 100-meter hurdles is 16.77 seconds when she placed second in the 2019 NAC 6 conference championship preliminaries. She ended up finishing third with a time of 16.82 seconds.
For the 300-meter hurdles, her best time is 48.87 seconds, which helped her notch second place at the 4A East regional final in 2019.
That same year, Yost also finished third in the Wake County Championship with a time of 49.66 seconds.
“My biggest memory is running with my twin sister, Danielle, and best friends,” Yost said. “Placing third in hurdles in the Wake County Championships was also a fun moment for me.”
Yost’s coach, Trent Wilson, said he admires all of the hard work she has put in since the beginning.
“I have seen her work ethic, dedication and perseverance since her freshman year,” Wilson said. “She has improved on her performances yearly, and I was looking forward to a great year this year prior to the virus outbreak. She is an excellent student as well, and typifies what a student-athlete truly is. I am extremely proud of her success.”
Yost was looking forward to competing for a state title run as a senior.
“I was on my way down to practice and coach Wilson called a meeting in the bleachers,” Yost said. “He told us about the season being postponed and then eventually canceled later on. I was disappointed, because I didn’t run any track meets yet. It meant that I wouldn’t run for states.”
Even though Yost’s senior year of high school is over, she gets to start fresh again at Cal State Monterey Bay University as a track athlete in college.
Yost will study marine science and get to go to school in the state she was born.
“The school has a good marine science program,” Yost said. “It’s a small beach town that I love. The coaches and teammates were very welcoming.”
Now that her high school years are behind her, Yost is focusing ahead on performing at the next level.
Before she leaves Wakefield, she has one final message to her younger teammates and classmates.
“Don’t take anything for granted,” Yost said. “Stick with your sport. Keep pushing yourself, so you can have a great, outstanding year of accomplishments.”