Abilene Christian University Track and Field Preview
2013 Season – by Don Garrett
ACU remained right at the top of the LSC world in 2012, with the men winning the LSC title (albeit by a scant 5.5 points over TAMU-Kingsville) and the women losing the women losing the title by ½ of a point to Angelo, the smallest margin in the history of the LSC. Both team races made an exciting LSC outdoor championship meet. The ACU teams face very different tasks in 2013 – the women have very few vacancies to fill after last season and appear to have filled those holes with some superstar quality athletes. The ACU men have to replace 54% of their points from last season, including replacing the greatest thrower in LSC history.
WOMEN – looks like another team championship brewing with Angelo State and with a fast-charging West Texas A&M
Athletes Lost – Karla Hope (3rd in the 400 and 4th in the long jump) and Alexis Wilder (6th in the shot put and 3rd in the hammer throw. Including relay legs, these 2 women represent 24 points or 12.5% of ACU’s total of 195 in 2012.
Key Returnees – lots of seniors finishing their careers for ACU in 2013 – next year will be a crucial recruiting year for the Wildcats as they move to the Southland Conf
· Cassie Brooks – Sr - 4th in the LSC heptathlon in 2012, after a 2011 season which saw her win the heptathlon, get 4th in the high jump and 6th in the 100 hurdles
· Alyse Goldsmith – Sr – 3rd in the 10K and 4th in the 5K in 2012, after winning both events in 2011
· Lauren Hartwick – Soph – 1st LSC hammer throw
· Emily Hill – Soph – 4th LSC 800
· Shalaina Lakey – Jr – 3rd LSC hammer throw and 7th discus
· Amelia Mitchell – Jr – 2nd LSC javelin in 2011 and 2012
· Amanda Ouedraogo – Sr – 1st triple jump and 7th long jump; 2nd in the D-II triple jump outdoors, after winning the national triple jump indoors
· Karolyn Palmer – Soph – 3rd LSC 100, also 11th in the 100
· Tara Riley – Jr – 2nd discus and 5th shot put
· Ayesha Rumble – Sr – 2nd LSC 800, 5th 1500; 4th in the D-II 800 at the national meet
· Sydney Smith – Sr – 16th in the LSC 100 in 2012, after finishing 3rd in the 100 and 300 in 2011
· Shennae Steele – Sr – 1st LSC 100 and 200
· Chloe Susset – Sr – 1st LSC steeplechase and 1500, and 2nd in the 5K (28 huge points)
· Lexus Williams – Soph – 1st 100 hurdles, 2nd 400 hurdles; 6th in the D-II 100 hurdles
Newcomers – only 2 newcomers (ACU has a very small team overall), but both are potential superstars
· Elea Diarra – Soph from France – ran on the French 4x400 relay in the 2012 Olympics – should have a great impact in the 200/400
· Reyare Thomas – Jr from Trinidad and Tobago – ran on the Trinidad 4x100 relay in the 2012 Olympics – she was the junior college 100/200 champ in 2012 for Central Arizona
ACU’s Achilles heel will undoubtedly be their lack of depth. They will need to see production from every single person on their roster. This recruiting year will be crucial to ACU, since at least 7 of their women finish their eligibility this year.
MEN – losses were heavy from 2012 – like I mentioned above 54% of their points are gone from last year. ACU had a relatively good recruiting year, bolstered by some walk-on kids who appear to have a future. It appears that they will see a dip in overall production in 2013 that might make it hard to defend their LSC outdoor championship for the 20th consecutive year in their swan song in the LSC.
Athletes Lost – Dennis Bain (won the LSC 110 hurdles, plus 6th in the 100 and 200; then 2nd in the D-II 110 hurdles); Paris Robertson (3rd 100, 4th 200); Jake Schofield (8th steeple, 9th 1500); Will Pike (9th in the 10K, after finishing 4th in both the 5K and 10K in 2011); Michael Rason (4th 110 hurdles); Levance Williams (2nd long jump and triple jump and 4th in the high jump in the first time he ever tried the event); Milo Parsons (6th in the hammer throw – he is now the throwing coach for Hardin-Simmons); and Nick Jones – the greatest thrower in LSC history (1st in the shot and discus, 3rd in the hammer throw and 6th in the javelin in his only time to ever compete in the event; he then won the D-II discus for the 4th time and finished 3rd in the shot, after winning the D-II indoor shot). Whew! Not easy to replace such great athletes.
Key Returnees – not all is lost, still some solid returnees for the ‘Cats. Lots of seniors on this squad as well, so recruiting is important to ACU to be a factor in the Southland Conference in 2014
· Aaron Bynum – Jr - 4th in the LSC javelin and 10th in the discus
· Jordan Geary – Sr – won the LSC 400 and finished 2nd in the 200, national qualifier in both events
· Darian Hogg – Jr – all-conference receiver finished 4th triple jump and 5th long jump in the LSC, qualifying in the long jump for nationals
· Banjo Jaiyesimi – Sr – 3rd LSC 800, 8th 1500
· Kevin Johnson – Sr – 2nd LSC 110 hurdles (1st in 2011); national qualifier in the event
· Baptiste Kerjean – Sr – won the LSC hammer throw and was 3rd at the D-II meet
· Parker Petty – Sr – won the LSC decathlon in 2011 and 2012, plus finishing 4th in the pole vault and 5th in the javelin throw, before finishing 9th in the D-II decathlon
· Matthew Stark – Sr – 8th in the decathlon and a three-way tie for 8th in the pole vault (that is why both ACU and TAMU-K have a 1/3 point on their totals), after finishing 3rd in the decathlon in 2011 – already a national qualifier for the indoor heptathlon this season
Returnees who could help – ACU can make up some of the 94 points lost from 2012 from within – there are several of these kids who could potentially score at conference: Osie Alleyn-Forte (13th LSC 400 and younger brother of LSU All-American Ade Alleyn-Forte); Gary Duncan (24th LSC 5K); Erik Forrister (9th LSC 5K, 13th 10K – missed scoring last year in the 5K by one-tenth of a second); James Grantham (22nd LSC 800).
Newcomers – a solid bunch, but probably not enough to make up for all of those lost points from 2012
· Malcolm Barnes – Fr from Cypress Creek – 5th Region III-5A triple jump
· Josh Bloom – Fr from Kingwood Park – won the Dist 18-4A shot put and discus
· Devan Brown – Fr from Abilene Wylie – at the 3A state meet, he was 3rd in the 100 and 5th in the 200
· Jonathan Farquharson – Fr from Orlando Christian Prep – in the Florida 1A state meet, he won the long jump and was 2nd in both the 100 and 200
· Bryton Fernandez – Fr from Abilene Christian HS – 2nd in the TAPPS 2A high jump, plus 2nd in the 4x100 and 3rd in the 4x200
· Keaton Hart – Fr from Houston Northland Christian – at the TAPPS 4A state meet he won the long jump, was 3rd in the triple jump and 6th in both the 100 and 200 – grandson of long-time ACU teacher and administrator, the late Dwain Hart
· Andrew Hudson – Jr from Bushland and Oklahoma State – former 2A state discus champ, he was 10th in the Big 12 discus in 2011 after a knee injury scuttled his football career at OSU – may help some with the loss of Nick Jones
· Xavier King – Fr from Ontario – at the Ontario HS championships, he won the 2000 steeple and was 3rd in the 1500 and 4th in the 5K
· Taylor Ochs – Fr from Midland Christian – 3rd in the TAPPS 3A 800
· Jelani Rainey – Fr from Lucas Lovejoy HS – won the Dist 11-3A shot put and discus
· Jeremy Tatham – Fr from St. Thomas Aquinas HS in Florida – 4th in the Florida 4A triple jump, he also went to state in the 110 and 400 hurdles – son of former All-American jumper Mazel Thomas Tatham
· Luke Woods – Fr from Houston Northland Christian – at the TAPPS 4A state meet, he was 3rd in the 300 hurdles and 4th in the 110 hurdles – training as a decathlete
One of the better recruiting classes in the LSC this year – with a big emphasis on kids who will help down the way.