Speedy Yarbrough is ready to compete at the next level
Last updated 7/1/2019 at 2:54pm
Next school year, Darriale Yarbrough will compete for the California State University San Marcos track and field team, and it will represent the next chapter in her athletic journey as one of Fallbrook High School's most successful track athletes over the last four years.
During her career, she has won the Valley League 100-meter race and long jump championship almost every year, was the CIF Division I Champion in the 100 meters her sophomore year, finished second in the CIF finals in the long jump in 2019 and has competed as part of the 100-meter relay team as the anchor throughout her four years on varsity. She qualified for the California State meet twice.
She was named MVP for the girls' team all four years at Fallbrook High and recently was named as one of the school's Senior Athletes of the Year.
She is clearly pretty darned fast – not bad for an athlete who doesn't necessarily like running.
"After playing soccer for three years and realizing that I'm relatively fast, I felt I'd be better running a straight line for 12.5 seconds than running around a field for 30-40 minutes," Yarbrough said. "Despite the fact that I absolutely hate running or exercising in general, there's something about the intensity that competition brings to me that makes the sweat and fatigue completely worth it. It's especially fun when you see improvement in yourself and your team."
Before coming to Fallbrook High, she had only competed in the Don Dornan Games once, in her sixth-grade year. She picked up track and field after playing her freshman year of soccer, then never looked back.
"It gives me a sense of accomplishment, like 'This is something I did and I'm proud of what I've done so far, hopefully, I'll get better next time,'" Yarbrough said. "It gives me a drive nothing else at the moment gives me. I definitely love the rush that the competition gives me. It pumps me up for whatever race or event I'm about to do and it's such an amazing feeling. Completely washes away most of my anxiety I might have."
She said her favorite personal accomplishment was qualifying for state competition.
"When I found out I won first place for the 100 meters during CIF," Yarbrough said. "When I was told I was going to state, I nearly cried on the spot.
"I didn't really do all that well, but having the chance to go and experience that for myself was intense, especially since I was only a sophomore when I went. I wish I had the chance to go again, but I'm grateful I went at all."
She said this year could have gone smoother, but an injury held her back a little.
"I wish I could've pushed myself harder," Yarbrough said. "I'm honestly amazed that, even though I had a pulled hamstring and went through the routine of healing it and pulling it over the course of a month, I was able to get to CIF for my third year."
She said she is proud of what she accomplished with her teammates on the relay teams.
"Nearly every competition we did our relay in, we improved our times," Yarbrough said. "From 51.5 seconds to 51, to 50, to 49, all the way to 48.74 as our best. It was amazing, dropping nearly 4 seconds. And that's not an easy feat."
She said she was influenced by fellow competitors.
"Definitely Allison Felix and Ivana Španović," Yarbrough said. "They're what I strive to be with my sprints and my long jumps respectively. And they're just so fun to watch compete, it gets me pumped and want to start running or jumping."
She said her mom helped her the most along the way.
"She's my biggest motivator, mentor, everything," Yarbrough said. "I don't think I'd get anywhere without her support if I'm being completely honest.
"I'd love to shoutout all of my coaches I've had over the years, as without their help, I wouldn't be where I am today. I'd also like to shoutout my 4x100 teammates: Erin, Jade and Hannah. I couldn't ask for a better relay team, and I hope they all go on to do great things in track."
Get to know Darriale Yarbrough
Favorite subject in school and why?
"PE/Track. I truly don't have any interest in any other subject."
Favorite teacher and why?
"All of my female teachers I've had over the years. They've all been so sweet and seemed to see potential in me."
Favorite band/musical artist?
"I don't really have one. My taste in music's too varied."
Favorite TV show?
"Criminal Minds" or "Hannibal."
"Into the Spiderverse"
"Silence of the Lambs"
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]