By BRAD KEITH
(April 18, 2015) — It’s no secret Chase Rathke is a special breed of athlete.
He is a national champion, after all.
And now, he’s a Mt. Sac Relays champ, as well.
Rathke rushed to a blistering time of 3 minutes, 46.08 seconds to win the open division of the 1,500 meter run at the prestigious Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, California Friday.
“This meet is about as big as it gets for distance runners. Anytime you can say you won your division at the Mt. Sac Relays, that’s pretty special,” said Tarleton track and field head coach Pat Ponder.
It was the best time of the season for Rathke, moving him up to No. 3 in Division II. The junior from Crawford won the national title at the same distance last year and also reached nationals in the 800 meter.
“This improved his starting position at nationals, which is one of the big things we’re focusing on with Chase,” said Ponder in a phone interview later Friday. “He actually shut it down a bit at the end because he had a lead. He can run an even better time, but it was a good race and we’re right where we need to be.”
Rathke finished third in the 1,500 at nationals in the indoor season earlier this year. He was named an All-American and Lone Star Conference Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Earlier in the outdoor season, he placed second in the prestigious Jerry Thompson Invitational Mile at the 88th annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
“Chase always represents Tarleton well as an athlete and as a person,” said Ponder. “He’s a great representative of Tarleton and is having another great season.”