STEPHENVILLE- For the first time in school history, Tarleton track and field is set to compete on the Division I indoor stage.
The Texans open the 2022 campaign this weekend in Lubbock at the Texas Tech Corky Classic. This will be Tarleton’s first indoor track meet in two years.
“It will be a really good meet with very good track field and athletes,” said interim head coach Clay Holland. “It’s a high-quality well-run meet. There will definitely be top performances this weekend.”
The 2021 indoor season was cancelled due to COVID-19. The Texans’ 2020 season fell subject to one of the most devastating finishes in Tarleton sports history. A program-best five student-athletes qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships in Birmingham, Alabama and earned USTFCCCA All-American credentials. Then, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic ground college sports to a standstill. The National Championships were subsequently cancelled as was Tarleton’s outdoor season.
Suffice it to say, Tarleton is eager to commence its first full season on the D1 stage.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to compete,” Holland said. “We were upset last year because we had a really good team. However, this year we have a young team, and they are ready to show how hard they’ve worked. We’re excited to get back into it,” said coach Holland.
Tarleton returns 52 letter winners from a 2021 squad that crowned four individual champions and captured the men’s 4x400m relay title at the WAC Outdoor Championships. The program also added 44 newcomers between its men’s and women’s teams.
This will be the fourth season for Holland and his first as interim head coach of the track and field programs as well as both the men and women’s cross-country teams.
Tarleton returns six athletes who boast All-Conference credentials: Brandon McKissick, Zach Martinez, Mikel Stone, Hannah Dudley, Nyla Barlow and Summer Croxton.
Martinez finished third in the 400m at the WAC Outdoor Championships in May behind a personal record of 47.66 seconds and received All-WAC first team honors.
McKissick, who is back for his final season in Purple and White, also notched a personal record in the 400m (47.72) last year at the WAC Championships.
Martinez and McKissick were members of the 4x400m relay championship team. Tarleton finished first in a nine-team field with a time of 3:12.67.
Stone is back for his senior season after an injury shelved him in 2021. He earned second team All-Lone Star Conference accolades in 2020. The Killeen, Texas native set a personal record in the 200m (21.63) at the LSC Indoor Championships. Stone is the indoor school record-holder in the event.
On the women’s side, Dudley, a sophomore, will be one of the leaders of the sprint group. She earned All-WAC second team accolades last year at the WAC Championships as a part of Tarleton’s 4x100m relay team that finished fourth in 47.30 seconds. Dudley set a personal record in the 200m (25.05) at the UT Arlington Invitational in April.
Barlow owns the third fastest outdoor 200m (24.75) time in school history. Barlow and Croxton joined Dudley on Tarleton’s 4x100m relay team.
She too earned All-WAC second team accolades along with Dudley and Croxton as they were a part of the 4x100m relay team that finished third (47.30) at the WAC Championships. Croxton is returning for her sophomore season and ranks 10th in school history in the outdoor 200m at 25.21 seconds.
Tarleton also added one of the top sprinters in the state of Texas and nationally during the 2021 recruiting cycle in freshman Breonna Campbell. She came to Tarleton ranked No. 34 in the 100m dash in Texas. Campbell won a bronze medal in the 100m dash at the 2021 TX 4A UIL State Championships.
Her personal records include 11.79 seconds in the 100m, 25.50 seconds in the 200m and 1:01 in the 400m.
Sullivan Sanders returns for his senior season after being Tarleton’s No. 1 performer in the 110 hurdles last spring. Sanders recorded a personal record in the 110m hurdles (14.67) during the prelims at the WAC Outdoor Championship. This ranks eighth in school history. While at the WAC Championships he finished seventh in the 110m hurdles (14.94).
Justin Raines and Konner Hoerman are two freshman who are expected to play a major role this season in the hurdles.
Raines arrived at Tarleton ranked 21st in Texas and 90th nationally in the 110m hurdles in 2021. Raines recorded personal of 14.23 seconds in the 110m hurdles and 41.01 seconds in the 300m hurdles.
Hoerman was ranked No. 44 in the 110m hurdles in 2021. He won the 2021 Texas UIL 2A 110m Hurdles State Championship. Hoerman personal best in the 110m hurdles is 14.41 seconds.
Brady Sisneroz will begin his sophomore season this year. Sisneroz finished last season as Tarleton’s second top performer in the 400m hurdles. He concluded the season as the third-fastest freshmen in the WAC in the in the event and the 110m hurdles. At the UT Arlington Invitational, Sisneroz set a personal best in the event (15.10). Sisneroz set a career best in the 400m hurdles (55.72) at the North Texas Classic.
For the women, Khloe Turnbull joined the Texans this year and will begin her freshman season. Turnbull was ranked 46th in Texas in the 100m hurdles coming out of Waco High School and placed fifth at the Region II 6A Championships.
Karleigh Hill, a freshman from Goliad, Texas ,placed fifth in the 100m hurdles at the 2021 Texas UIL 3A State Championships. She owns a personal record in the 100m hurdles with a time of 14.90 seconds.
All-WAC first team recipient Bailey Smotek returns for his junior season with the Texans. Smotek was Tarleton’s top performer in the 800m last season. Smotek finished seventh in the 800m at the WAC Championships, which is where he recorded his personal best of 1:55.39 during the prelims. Smotek also posted a personal record in the 400m with a time of 50.40 at the North Texas Classic.
Sophomore Kevin Calvani returns for the Texans after being Tarleton’s second-best performer in the 800m. Calvani recorded a personal best in the event with a time of 1:57.97 at the WAC Championships. Calvani also set a personal record in the 1,500m at the Joe Gillespie Invitational, posting a time of 4:15.68.
Jenna Brazeal returns to Tarleton for her junior season. Brazeal owns the indoor school record in the 800m. During the prelims at the WAC Championships, Brazeal posted a personal best in the 800m, recording a time of 2:15.21. At the Joe Gillespie Invitational, Brazeal placed second in the 1,500m (4:46.15) which is also a personal best.
Junior Alessa King returns for the Texans after ending the 2021 season ranked 14th in the WAC in the 400m. King notched a personal best in the event, finishing with a time of 58.79 at the North Texas Classic. King has finished top-10 in four of her races in the 800m. King set a personal record in event at the WAC Champions, ending with a time of 2:20.13.
Kevin Baez returns to the Texans for his junior season. Baez will be one of the leaders for distance groups. Baez is ranked eighth in school history in the 1,500m, 5K and 10K. At the WAC Outdoor Championship, Baez recorded a personal best in the 10K (32:07.45). Baez was just 16 seconds away from breaking Tarleton’s outdoor record in the event. In the 1,500m at the North Texas Classic, Baez notched a personal record with a time of 3:56.11. At the UTA Invitational, Baez claimed his best time in the 5K (15:00.43).
Brooke Wendel who joins the Texans as a freshman, won a District Championship in the 1,600m and 3,200m her senior year. At the 2021 Texas UIL State Track and Field Championships, Wendel broke her school record with a time of 5:10. Wendel also owns a personal record in the 3,200m, her finishing time was 11:51.
Allison Hedrick will begin her freshman season this year. Hedrick is a five-time TX UIL 2A State Champion and was a District cross-country champion all four years in high school. Hedrick has a career best in the 1,600m (5:17.76), and owns her school record in the 3,200m. Hedrick’s personal best in the event is 11:28.
Sage Lancaster a freshman from Denton, TX holds her high school records in the mile, 2-mile and 5K. She won the District 8-5A Cross Country Championship in the 5K, finishing with a time of 19:26.09. Lancaster has personal records in the 800 (2:24), the mile (5:22), and the 2-mile (11:45).
Alan Palmer who is the first athlete in Tarleton’s Division one history to win a conference championship returns for his senior season with the Texans. Palmer claimed the title at the WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the long jump where he leapt 24’11.75″. While at the WAC Championships, Palmer also set a personal record in the high jump (6’9.5) which placed him second. His efforts in both events earned him All-WAC first team. He currently ranks second in the long jumps and sixth in the high jump. Last May at the Texas A&M Alumni Muster, Palmer took home first place in the long jump with a personal record of 25’2″. Palmer was just one inch away from breaking Tarleton’s outdoor school record. Jaden Hall, a sophomore, finished last season as Tarleton’s top performer in the triple jump and ranks third in school history in the event. At the WAC Outdoor Championship, Hall notched a personal best in the triple jump (48’2.75) and finished fifth, this earned him All-WAC second team accolades. At the Joe Gillespie Invitational, Hall took home third place by setting a personal record in the long jump (20’9.25).
Jamariyan Howlett, a freshman, comes to the Texans ranked eighth in Texas and 68th nationally in the high jump. Howlett won the 2021 Texas UIL 3A State Championship in the event, after a leap of 6’8″.
Freshman Tyler Stone joins the Texans this season after being ranked second in the long jump at the Texas UIL 5A classification during the outdoor season in 2021. Stones personal best in the event is 23’10”. For the high jump, Stone has a personal record of 6’5″.
Reid Vincent, a freshman, was ranked 10th in Texas and 39th nationally in the long jump in 2021. He won a silver medal in the long jump at the Texas UIL 4A State Championships. Vincent’s personal best in the event is 23’11.50″.
For the women, Rylee Henning, a freshman, arrived at Tarleton ranked 17th in Texas and 84th nationally in the high jump in 2021. Henning won the 2021 Texas UIL 1A State Championship and broke the meet record, jumping 5’7″. Henning was the 2018 Texas UIL 1A State Champion in this event. Henning took home the 2021 title in the triple jump and has a personal record of 36’11”.
The 2021 WAC Outdoor Track and Field Conference Champion Gentrye Munden returns to the Texans for her senior season. Munden won the high jump after she cleared 5’6.5″. This feat earned Munden first team All-WAC honors. Munden comes into this season ranked fourth in school history in the high jump after clearing 5’7.25″ at the Joe Gillespie Invitational which is a personal best. This past April at the UTA Invitational, a mark of 5’6″ made Munden the first athlete to win an individual event in Tarleton’s Division one history.
Nakia Dunn will begin her junior season this year. Dunn’s 2021 season concluded with her earning All-WAC second team honors after her performance at the WAC Championships. Dunn competed in the triple jump and finished with a mark of 38’4.75″. Last April at the North Texas Classic, Dunn recorded the fifth highest leap in Tarleton’s history in the triple jump, leaping to a mark of 38’6.25″. At the Joe Gillespie Invitational Dunn took home the crown in the triple jump with a mark of 37’9.25″ and finished second in the long jump (17’8.75″).
Elena Reagan will begin the season for the Texans as a graduate student. Reagan concluded the 2021 season receiving All-WAC second team honors notching a personal record in the discus (144’6) at the WAC Outdoor Championships. At the Texas A&M Alumni Muster, Reagan came within six feet of breaking Tarleton’s school record in the hammer throw after a heave of 154’0″. Reagan is ranked second all-time in school history in the hammer throw and is third in the discus.
Oscar Rodriguez will begin his junior season this year for the purple and white. Rodriguez ended the 2021 season at the WAC Championships by winning the title in the discus throw. Rodriguez not only won the crown but set a personal record in the event with a throw of 174’6″. This effort earned him All-WAC first team honors. Rodriguez comes to the 2022 season ranked second in school history in the discus and is the record holder in the hammer throw. He earned it with a heave of 174’8 at the WAC Championships this past May. This feat earned Rodriguez All-WAC second team.
Skyler Sandusky will begin the 2022 season as a graduate student. During the 2021 season, Sandusky was Tarleton’s second-best performer in the decathlon. Sandusky recorded a personal best in the event with a score of 5,566 points at the Angelo State David Noble Relays. Sandusky is ranked fifth in school history in the decathlon. Sandusky personal records include the long jump (20’9″), 1,500m (4:56.49), javelin (135’1″), 100m (11.45), 110m hurdles (16.33) and the pole vault (9’6.25″).
Kyndal Gladson will be starting her sophomore season with the Texans. After not competing in the 2021 season she will officially be starting her collegiate career this season. Gladson comes into this season as the 2018 and 2019 UIL 6A District 29 Track and Field Champion. She finished first in both the 300m hurdles and the high jump. Gladson owns personal records in the 100m (12.83), 200m (26.44), 100m hurdles (16.34), 300m hurdles (44.74), high jump (5’4) and the long jump (18’0.5).
STEPHENVILLE- For the first time in school history, Tarleton track and field is set to compete on the Division I indoor stage.