(January 20, 2015) — In her first meet as a TexAnn, Euphemia Edem set a pair of Tarleton State records when the 2015 indoor track and field season began with the Texas Tech Open at “The Bubble” in Lubbock.
Edem, a senior and graduate-level transfer student from Alabama-Stillman, leapt 5.99 meters (19 feet, 8 inches) in the long jump on Friday and 12.66 meters (41-6.5) in the triple jump on Saturday.
“Euphemia was looking for a program where she could compete another year and begin graduate work in kinesiology,” said Tarleton coach Pat Ponder. “I knew we had what she was looking for, and after we got in touch it was only about a week and we had her signed. She’s a great competitor, but what’s best about her is that she’s a great student and an even better person. She’s a great leader by example for her peers and the younger student-athletes on the team.”
Edem, second nationally in the triple jump and fifth in the long jump, posted NCAA Division II automatic qualifying marks in both. She is the first Tarleton indoor athlete ever to automatically qualify for nationals, and the first to post an auto mark in any event since the 2012 outdoor season.
Edem wasted no time leaving etching her name into the school record book. Her historic long jump came in the prelims on her first competitive attempt as a TexAnn. She finished third in the event then was first with her historic triple jump effort on Saturday.
Tarleton is in just its second season back in indoor competition, and Edem wasn’t the only one to begin the year successfully. Four other school records fell, and multiple provisional marks were posted.
Chase Rathke demolished the school record by more than 10 seconds in the men’s mile run. The reigning 1,500 meter outdoor champ won the race with an NCAA provisional time of 4 minutes, 8.27 seconds, second fastest in the nation this season. Robert Peterson of Montana State-Billings is first nationally, less than a second ahead of Rathke.
“With a lot of athletes coming out of the Christmas break, you’re not sure what to expect,” Ponder said. “But Chase keeps himself in such great shape and is so talented. The key with him has just been keeping him healthy. He’s dealt with some lower back issues, but he looked healthy (Saturday). He’s about 12 seconds ahead of where he was at this time last year.”
DeAijha Hicks-Boyce opened Saturday action with an indoor school record time of 25.93 seconds in the women’s 200 meter.
Tylo Farrar won the women’s 5,000 meter in 19:12.97, a person record, on Friday. Kenny Odunaiya won the men’s hammer with a best throw of 16.38 meters (53-9) on Saturday.
Morgan McKee cleared an NCAA provisional 1.66 meters (5-5.25) in the women’s high jump.
“All in all, I thought this was a good first meet for us. We got our feet wet, we know where we stand now and we can build on this,” Ponder said. “That’s what excites me the most is knowing we have such a good base to build on.”
Tarleton is idle four weeks until competing Feb. 13 in the Samford Elite Invitational at Birmingham Crossplex Track in Birmingham, Ala.
For complete results and more, visit the track and field pages at tarletonsports.com.