By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (May 5, 2016) — It’s Tarleton State’s turn to host the Lone Star Conference Track & Field Meet, and that means some of the best Division II athletes in the nation will be in action in Stephenville today through Saturday.
Tarleton State has a host of athletes who have already posted provisional marks and one – Chase Rathke in the 800 meter – who has reached the auto mark for the Division II nationals. There will no doubt be more national marks and some improved times, heights and distances from athletes at several school’s during this weekend’s intense competition.
For the official website of the conference meet, click here.
For the official heat sheet, click here.
Here are five things to watch for from Tarleton:
1. Chase Rathke running at home
Rathke is arguably the most accomplished track and field athlete in Tarleton history. The senior from Crawford will be in his trademark races this weekend, the 800 and 1,500 meter runs. He won a national championship at 800 meters two years ago and is seeded first in the conference by nine-tenths of a second. A winner of multiple indoor and outdoor All-American and LSC Athlete of the Year awards, Rathke is also seeded first by more than four seconds in the 1,500 with teammate Dylan Willett expected to be his closest competitor.
2. Aly Coughlin dominating distance events
Coughlin won the LSC Cross Country championship last fall and is a runaway favorite in the women’s 5,000 meter run this weekend. She is seeded first by 31 seconds in the event, and in second is teammate Katelin Huckabee, who is 13 seconds clear of third. That runner seeded third is Amber Saiz of Eastern New Mexico, and she’s the only runner seeded ahead of Coughlin in the 1,500. Coughlin is also in the 10,000, but like seven of the nine competitors listed, has no seeding time.
3. DeAijha Boyce-Hicks in the sprints
The sophomore TexAnn already owns the school record in the 200 meter, and is seeded second in the event, seven-hundredths of a second behind Kaina Martinez of Texas A&M-Kingsville. Hicks-Boyce is seeded fourth in the 100, less than a tenth of a second behind top seed Shanice Cameron of West Texas A&M. The Tarleton standout will also run the third leg of the women’s 4×100 meter relay.
4. Stephenville native in action for TSU
Jordan Jones, a senior and former Stephenville track star and football player, is running the opening leg of the men’s 4×100 relay for Tarleton. He is also in heat two of three in the 100 meter dash and heat two of four in the 200 meter in the running prelims.
5. Texan basketballer pulls double duty
Chantz Chambers helped Tarleton to the regional championship in men’s basketball, and now he hopes to return to the national track meet. The sophomore reached nationals in the long jump as a freshman at Angelo State, and is still a sophomore by track eligibility standards two years later. He is seeded fifth in the long jump and will compete in the second flight. He is also running the final leg of the 4×100 relay for Tarleton.