Justin Raines named WAC Most Outstanding Freshman for 2022 indoor season


STEPHENVILLE – The accolades continue to roll in for Tarleton track and field star Justin Raines. 

The Copperas Cove, Texas, native was named the Western Athletic Conference Most Outstanding Freshman for the 2022 indoor season following the WAC Indoor Championships on Feb. 18-19 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Awards were voted on by conference head coaches. 

Raines is the first athlete to earn such an honor in Tarleton’s Division I era. 

He received the recognition following one of the greatest individual performances Tarleton has seen in a postseason meet. 

Raines won the 60m dash in 6.71 seconds to become the Texans’ first ever WAC indoor champion. He then finished third in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.01 seconds. Raines received All-WAC first team credentials in both events. 

He joins senior Alan Palmer as the only two-time All-WAC first team honorees in program history. Palmer won the long jump (24′ 11.75″) and nabbed second place in the high jump (6′ 9.5″) at the 2021 WAC Outdoor Championships. 

Raines rewrote Tarleton’s indoor record book in the process. He now owns the top 60m dash time in school history and ranks second in the 60m hurdles. 

He first tantalized his potential and put the WAC on notice in his lone regular season indoor meet – the FasTrak Collegiate Challenge on Jan. 23 in Houston. Raines claimed third place in the 60m dash in 7.00 seconds while competing against a 17-team meet field that featured 10 D1 foes, including conference peers Stephen F. Austin and UTRGV along with regional rivals in Rice, Texas A&M-CC and Texas State. Raines also placed fifth in the prelims and eighth in the finals of the 60m hurdles. His best time was 8.61 seconds, which vaulted him to 10th on Tarleton’s all-time indoor performance list.  

Raines was one of the top prep prospects Tarleton inked in its 2021 recruiting class coming out of Copperas Cove High School. His personal record of 14.23 seconds in the 110m hurdles ranked 21st in Texas and 90th nationally among all high school athletes. Raines concluded his high school career by capturing a Regional Championship in the 110m hurdles and was an area qualifier in the 4x200m relay. He earned first team All-District accolades in the 110m hurdles and was an All-District second team honoree in the 4x200m relay. Raines also competed in the 300m hurdles, where he boasts a personal record of 41.01 seconds. 

The freshman phenom is expected to return to the track when Tarleton begins its outdoor season on March 17-19 at the ACU Wes Kittley Invitational in Abilene.  

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