Justin Raines sprints his way to WAC Track Athlete of the Week honors

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DENVER – Few athletes in Tarleton track and field history can match the start Justin Raines has enjoyed to his tenure in Purple and White.  

Less than two months after winning the Western Athletic Conference 60m championship and being honored as the WAC Most Outstanding Freshman for the 2022 indoor season, Raines has claimed yet another conference accolade. 

The Copperas Cove, Texas, native was named the TicketSmarter WAC Track Athlete of the Week for Apr. 3-10 following a standout sprinting showing at the North Texas Classic on Saturday. 

Raines clocked the conference’s fastest 100m time this season by more than two-tenths of a second, crossing the finish line in 10.23. His time firmly puts his name on the short list of elite sprinters regionally and among all NCAA Division I Athletes. Raines now ranks 12th in the 100m in the NCAA South Central Region and is tied for 26th on the NCAA D1 Outdoor Qualifying List. He is now closing in on Tarleton’s 100m school record as well, as Saturday’s sprint vaulted him to No. 3 on the program’s all-time outdoor top-10 list. 

The open 100m was not the only event Raines raced in. He also led off for Tarleton’s 4x100m relay team, which made its 2022 debut and finished fourth in 41.55 seconds. 

Raines is just the second athlete in Tarleton track and field history to receive weekly All-WAC recognition. He joins Anterius Brown, who took home WAC Track Athlete of the Week honors in March 2021. 

The latest award adds to an unprecedented start to Raines’ Texan career.  

Raines broke Tarleton’s school record in the 60m with a time of 6.71 in his WAC championship-winning sprint on Feb. 19 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the process, he became the first indoor conference champion of Tarleton’s WAC and D1 era. 

He also became program’s second athlete to earn multiple sets of All-WAC first team honors. Before capturing his 60m gold medal, Raines claimed the bronze in the 60m hurdles in 8.01 seconds. The time ranks second in school history and puts him within one-tenth of a second from occupying the top spot on Tarleton’s all-time indoor top-10 list. 

The performance at the WAC Indoor Championships earned Raines the meet’s Most Outstanding Freshman accolade, which is voted on by conference head coaches and is the equivalent of conference Freshman of the Year recognition. 

He currently ranks in the top-10 on the WAC Outdoor Performance List in three events. Raines is tied for third among his conference peers in the 200m dash (21.33) and ranks 10th in the 110m hurdles (14.67). He recorded both times in his collegiate outdoor debut on March 19 at the ACU Wes Kittley Invitational and now ranks fourth and ninth, respectively, in school history in the pair of events. 

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.  

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