Tuesday, March 16, 2010

LSC Track & Field Outlook - 2010: Tarleton State

By Special Contributor Don Garrett

Previous outlooks

LSC Track and Field Outlook – 2010: Tarleton State
Tarleton had a good, solid season in 2009, running a very close 3rd to Angelo on the men’s side and a solid, if somewhat distant, 3rd to ACU on the women’s side. The 2010 version of the men’s squad looks to be every bit as good as the last year and Angelo State looks a little weaker, with ACU looking decidedly weaker. Tarleton has a decent shot at 2nd in 2010 and could even make up some ground on ACU. On the women’s side, Tarleton is decidedly weaker than 2009, losing several key athletes. Third place should still be safe and 2nd place ACU is also decidedly weaker than 2009, so Tarleton looks poised to stay in a fairly safe 3rd place on the women’s side.

WOMEN – Tarleton loses 45 of their 84 points from 2009, almost 60%. They have picked up some kids who will help them immediately, though.

LOST: Chelsey Bradford (3rd 100 for 6 points); Kymberlee Trnka (3rd 800 and 1500 for 12 points); Krista Morris (2nd steeplechase for 8 points); Flo Carrington (4th in the hammer and SP, 6th in the discus for 9 points); Cassidi Porter (2nd in the HJ for 8 points); and Hillary Moreno (6th in the SP and discus for 2 points)

KEY RETURNEES: Sheila Bishop (4th 800); Kandis Brooks (1st 100H, 4th 200); Vanessa Elizondo (4th 10K and 8th in the 5K); Katherine Grillo (6th 800); Morgan Kuykendall (4th 10K); Courtney Newsom (6th 400), plus they have some other kids who finished 7th-9th who could move up into the scoring in 2010 – Shadoh Campbell in the 800/1500, Claire Goodman in the 400, and Meredith Persinger in the hammer, SP, and discus.

TOP NEWCOMERS: Jordan Burgess, from Kennedale (5th 3A 300H, plus 4th in the Region II-3A 800, just missing state in that event as well); Nellasha Davis, from Oak Cliff Life Charter (3rd in the Region II-2A LJ, missing a trip to state by 2 inches); Elizabeth Dominguez, from Joshua and University of North Texas (she was 8th indoors in the SP in the Sun Belt, a D-I conference, plus top 12 in the discus outdoors); Kallie Johanson, from Llano (6th in 3A state discus and SP); Paige Klein, from Alvord (2nd in the 100 and 6th in the 200 at 2A state meet); (Danitra Marshall (4th in the A 100 for Itasca in 2004! – I am not sure where she has been for the past 6 years); plus, lots of other kids who went to regional meets particularly at the 2A level.

OUTLOOK: Lots of lost points from 2009. Some good kids who can help fill the gaps immediately. With the improvement from ENMU and the addition of WTAMU in 2010, Tarleton will probably need to concentrate on hanging onto 3rd place at conference.

MEN – very few losses from a good Tarleton men’s team. They should give a Angelo a race for 2nd place and they should make up a lot of ground on 1st place ACU as well.

LOST: Michael Pratt (5th in the hammer for 2 points) and Brock Harris (6th in the 110H) and that is it! Tarleton has a lot of depth in the throws and should make up that 2 points easily. Of course, injuries can impact this column as well, but right now, TSU took the least hit from graduation of any team in the LSC.

KEY RETURNEES: Aaron Donohue (4th 400); Hayden Eubanks (3rd Discus); Nolan Eubanks (6th discus); Austin Griffin (5th 200); Chris Hearell (2nd 800, 4th 1500); Jordan Hurd (4th 800); Casey Keeter (2nd SP, plus 7th in both the discus and hammer); Jamal Mays (2nd 100, 3rd 200); Jared McNeil (1st 5K, 2nd in the 1500 and the steeple – LSC track athlete of the year); Ryan Quezada (3rd 10K); Westyn Rosiles (3rd steeple, 4th 4K); Bryan Ruiz (5th 800); Tyler Rushing (6th HJ); Kolin Styles (3rd 5K, 4th 10K); Garrett Thomas (2nd 110H, but a disappointing 8th in the 400H); Gerzain Valenzuela (5th 5K and 10K – he had a great cross country season).

TOP NEWCOMERS: Steven Cantwell, from Aubrey and transfer from McMurry (won the American Southwest Conference 1500, 4th in the 800); Demetrion Cooper, from Wichita Falls Hirschi (2nd in the 300H and 3rd in the 100H at 3A state); Logan Mynar, from Kopperl (2nd 3200, 6th 1600 at A state); Travis Montgomery, from Alvord (3rd 100, 6th 200 at 2A state); John Morin, from Irving Nimitz (2nd in the District 7-5A 400, 1st 4X400 in that tough district with the Irving Schools, Duncanville and Cedar Hill); Dalton Strickland, from Meridian (6th A PV, plus 2nd in the 110H and 4th in the 300H at his regional meet) and Cory Warthman, from Blum (2nd A 110H at the state meet).

OUTLOOK: When I see the TSU team on paper, I feel like they could truly catch Angelo for 2nd and make up a LOT of ground on ACU. Lots of quality returnees. Some really good additions from both colleges (instant impact) and high schools. Another key will be more broad-based contributions from the throwers – most of them only placed in one event, whereas both ACU and Angelo is getting top 6 places in 2-3 events from their throwers. If TSU puts it together, this is their best team in decades.

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