By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (May 17, 2016) — One of the biggest stars of last weekend’s UIL Track & Field State Meet will soon be competing for Tarleton State.
Taylor Massey of Cisco won state titles in the long jump, triple jump and 110 meter hurdles last weekend, and he did in a stadium named for a Tarleton alumnus, no less.
Mike A. Myers Stadium was transformed into Massey’s personal playground as he amassed four medals – the three golds and a bronze for placing third in the 300 meter hurdles. He soared 46 feet, 8 inches in triple jump and 23-1.75 in long jump while running the 110 hurdles in 14.39 seconds and the 300s in 39.09.
Massey, 6-2, 160, signed his national letter of intent with the Tarleton football program on National Signing Day, and Tarleton head coach Todd Whitten says he will encourage Massey to continue his track career for the Texans, as well.
“He’s an outstanding young man and a great competitor and obviously with anyone with his level of talent, we’re glad to have him,” said Whitten, who is beginning his third stint as head football coach at Tarleton, where he is already the winningest coach in program history. “I think we’ll see him do both (football and track) at Tarleton. If you look back when I was here before I’ve always encouraged our football athletes to participate in other sports if they can.”
One such athlete – football and track star Olan Coleman – will be inducted this weekend into the Tarleton Athletics Hall of Fame. Coleman won two national titles in the 100 meter and was running back for two playoff teams including an LSC co-champion and national quarterfinalist in 2001.
Not that anyone can say Massey will reach Coleman’s level of success, but his marks from the state track meet would have served him well at the Lone Star Conference Track & Field Meet Tarleton hosted two weekends ago.
While they were run at different facilities and in different weather conditions, Massey’s time would have placed second in the LSC in the 110 hurdles, his distance in the long jump would have been sixth in the LSC, and his triple jump distance would have been eighth.
Massey played quarterback at Cisco and earned various all-district and all-state honors. He is listed as a receiver in the Tarleton Athletic Communications signing day release.
Whitten said the plan is always to redshirt incoming freshmen, but that Massey and several others would be watched closely to see if they can help right away.
“In a perfect world we redshirt all those guys and build long term, but sometimes a kid just stands out and is too good to leave off the field,” he said. “He may be one of those guys we’ll just have to see when he gets here and gets started with us.”