Thursday, March 7, 2013

Track and Field Previews - A&M-Commerce & Tarleton State


                                                     TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE

Hosting the LSC outdoor track meet in 2012, Commerce took a step toward moving into the top half of the conference, finishing 6th in both the men’s and women’s team race. It looks like the Lions may have taken a step backwards this year. They lost several point scorers from 2012, including men who still had eligibility left, particularly on the men’s side. They will still field decent teams, but will have a hard time moving into the top half of the LSC.

WOMEN – the Lady Lions do get back 2 excellent redshirts from last year – Starasia Childs and Katherine Beach . If they had competed in 2012, that might have moved Commerce up as high as 4th. Still, lots of firepower lost.

ATHLETES LOST – Whitney Hargraves – 2nd high jump and triple jump – 16 points lost (out of 57 total points in 2012); Aysha Moultrie – 3rd in the heptathlon and a leg on the 4x400; Tiera Hill – 5th in the triple jump and 8th in the long jump; K’Nycha Johnson – leg on the 4x100 relay, 15th in the 200; Ethel Ajanga – 9th in the 400; Breana Anderson-Barton – 10th long jump. Losses from last season equal 28 of the 57 points, just a shade over 50% of the 2012 point total.

KEY RETURNEES – some of the most important returnees are the 2 redshirts, who scored more than 20 points between them in the 2011 conference meet
·    Katherine Beach – Sr – 2nd in the 800 and 8th in the 400 in 2011 – redshirted all of 2012
·    Starasia Childs – Sr – 2nd in the triple jump, 7th in the long jump and a finalist in the 100H (she did not finish) in 2011, then redshirted 2012
·    Jakesia King – Sr – 6th in the 200, plus a leg on the 4x100
·    Abby Leaupepe-Tele -  Jr – 1st discus throw, 9th shot put, 10th javelin
·    Angela Reed – Jr – a former 1A state champ for Dallas Gateway who transferred to Commerce from Huston-Tillotson, turned into a big addition – 4th in the 100, 9th in the 200, anchored the 4x100
·    Ashley Ross – So – 8th in the LSC discus
·    Tyler Cottingham – So – 16th in the 400, but ran on the 5th place 4x400 relay
·    Vanessa Jackson – Jr – 10th in the 400, but ran on both the 4x100 and 4x400
·    Brooke Odom – So – 15th in the 400, but also ran a leg on the 4x400

OTHER RETURNEES WHO MIGHT HELP - Brooke Farris – 21st 1500; Caroline Cotsakis – 23rd 5K; Jennifer Speer – 21st 5K; Megan Lara, who redshirted in 2012 and ran a time or two unattached
NEWCOMERS  - a kid or two who might help immediately
·    Renisha Carr – Fr-Round Rock McNeil – 2nd Dist 16-5A 400
·    Melinda DaVila – Fr-Conroe Oak Ridge – Dist 14-5A 5th 300 hurdles, 7th 100 hurdles
·    Khadijah Epps – Fr-Texarkana Texas HS – Dist 13-4A 2nd 300 hurdles, 3rd 100 hurdles, 1st 4x400 relay
·    Kebrina Hartfield – So from Oklahoma City Centennial HS and a transfer from Oklahoma Baptist – she was 4th in the Sooner Athletic Conf shot put in 2012 – could help quickly
·    Rachel Robertson – Sr from Princeton, TX – all-conference volleyball player
·    Shunterrical Lamb – Jr from Dallas Kimball – don’t know what category to place her – she has been on the Commerce roster for 3+ years, but has never run a race – however, she did place 4th in the 4A 800 back I 2009 for Dallas Kimball
·    Brikel Bailey – Jr from Chaffey College – hard to find results on the California JC athletes, but I think she has run some decent times in the 800 and 1500
They might be able to hold onto 6th place, if their key redshirts can return to their 2011 level and if the get some production from some of their transfers.

MEN – the Commerce men will have to get excellent production from their transfers and 1-2 of their new, young distance runners to hold onto their 6th place finish from 2012

ATHLETES LOST – Khalil Henry – won the LSC high jump; Ernest Rickett – 6th in the 400 and ran on both 4x100 and 4x400; Ernest Sinegal – 8th in the 400; Chris Douglas – 2nd in the 800 as a freshman; Elijah Burwell – 4th in the 400 hurdles; Hank Smith – 6th in the 400 hurdles; Demetrius Holmes – 8th in the 400 hurdles; Charles Powell – 6th in the long jump. These athletes represented 36 points – 66% of the 54.5 points that the Lions scored in 2012. Plus, there were several more who came close to scoring who did not return: including Isaac Chelimo (10th steeplechase, 11th 800, 15th 1500); Ross Hicks (11th 1500); and E.J. Skinner – (11th 400).

KEY RETURNEES – not a real large group:
·    Tyler Hemenway – Jr - 9th in the 800 in 2012, but 6th in the same race in 2011
·    Fredrick Kipsang – Jr – 7th in both the steeplechase and the 5K
·    John David Rollins – So – 4th in the long jump, 9th in the 100, 12th in the 200, plus a leg on the 4x100
·    Everett Wilder – Jr – 5th in the 10K
·    Joel Day – ran on the both relays and was 15th in the open 800 (but 10th in the open 400 in 2011)
·    Ravi Dubose – 10th in both the 400 and triple jump, plus ran on both relays
·    Adam Gary – just missed the finals in the 400 (9th place) and ran on the 4x400 relay

OTHER RETURNEES WHO COULD HELP – the Lions have several who could really help this team by moving up a bit, including: Ron Balthazar – only 21st in the 800 last year, but he was 10th in the same race in 2010; Daniel Dia – 11th discus, 12th shot put, 13th hammer;  Alex Kimp – 18th in the 10K last year, but 10th in the same racein 2011; James Lundy – 9th in the decathlon; Raymond Mata – 13th in the steeple last year, but 9th in the same race in 2011; Matthew Rich – 9th in the javelin, 11th in the vault, 13th in the LJ.

·    Dorian McCradic – Fr from Georgetown – this kid looked like a seasoned veteran all cross country season (6th at the LSC meet) – Georgetown is a strong track town, where he won the Dist 16-5A 1600 and only missed going to state by a fraction of a second, finishing 3rd in the Reg II-5A meet
·    Luis Romero – Fr From El Paso Montwood – another freshman who ran well this past XC season, finishing all-LSC with a 15th place and finishing 5th at the 5A track meet last spring in the 800
·    Gage Bowles – Fr from Geronimo Navarro HS – 4th in the 3A triple jump – in the Dist 26-3a meet, he was 2nd in the 100 and won both the long jump and the triple jump
·    Dakota Fountain – Fr from Mt Vernon – 6th in the 3A 200; at the Region II-3A meet, he won the 200, was 5th in the triple jump and 9th in the long jump, plus running on the 5th place 4x400 relay
·    Sean Sparks – Jr from Lumberton and a transfer from Lon Morris – 6th in the JC shot put in 2011, then was 13th in the JC SP and 16th discus last year amidst all that turmoil of Lon Morris shutting its doors
·    Avion Steward – Jr from Dallas Bryan Adams, transferring from  Lon Morris – at the JC national meet, he was 13th in the 110 hurdles and 19th in the 400 hurdles
·    Xavier Townsend – Jr from Chaffey College in CA – won the Southern California JC triple jump in 2012
·    Erik Williams – Fr from Carrollton Newman Smith – at the Dist 9-4A meet, he won the 200 and 400 and finished 6th in the Region II-4A 400

If McCradic and Romero run like veterans, as they did in cross country, Commerce might be able to make up many of the huge numbers of points they lost from 2012.

                                                              TARLETON STATE

For Tarleton State, 2012 was a year when their women continued their climb into the top half of the LSC and a year their men would just as soon forget. At the LSC meet, everything that could possibly go wrong for the Texan men, DID go wrong. The women got some fantastic performances from some of their stalwarts and they have virtually their whole roster back on the women’s side. The men cleaned house, losing only a few men to graduation, but cutting ties with several who did not produce and adding what is arguably the best recruiting class in the LSC. The women should continue to climb in the standings and the men should see a considerable improvement in their fortunes this year.

Athletes lost – only 2 key women lost from 2012, both throwers and the Lady Texans had a good recruiting year in the throws and in several other events as well. Leslie Jordan (2nd in the SP, 8th in the hammer, and 11th in the discus) and Elizabeth Dominguez (3rd in the shot put and 9th in the discus) are the 2 throwers and the only other athlete who scored at all at the LSC meet who is no longer on the roster is Claire Goodman, who scored ½ point by being on the 7th place 4x400 relay (she also was 11th in the 400 prelims). That only represents 15.5 points, out of their team’s total of 75, just a shade over 20%. Tarleton also lost Shabrina McAdams, who was 9th in the 400 hurdle prelims, just missing the finals.

KEY RETURNEES – Tarleton has the bulk of their team back for the 2013 season, including a key athlete who scored heavily in the 2011 conference meet, but redshirted in 2012.
·    Jenna Duncan – Soph – 4th in the 400 hurdles and a member of the 7th place 4x400 relay
·    Lindsay Hinton – Sr  - had a brilliant LSC meet in 2012, winning the 5K and finishing 2nd in the 1500 and 10K for 26 points, over 1/3 of the team total – has been the backbone of this team after her transfer from D-III Hardin-Simmons – maybe the LSC schools need to look a little more closely at the D-III schools for possible athletes!
·    Kallie Johanson – Sr - 7th in the shot put, also 12th in the discus and 13th in the hammer
·    Nikki McNorton – Sr - terrific addition from Blinn College (where they do not have a women’s track team), who won the conference high jump, before finishing 3rd in the D-II national meet in the event – also 7th in the 100. Did not get any points in the sprint relay as Tarleton did not field a 4x100 relay at the meet.
·    Celeste Meyer – Jr – 5th in the 10K and 6th in the 5K
·    Payton Shoush – Jr – 3rd in the 800 (after winning the 2011 race) and also ran on the 7th place 4x400 relay
·    Diamond Wilson – Jr – 13th in the 400 and 19th in the 200, but scored ½ of a point as a member of the 4x400
·    Derekia Coleman – So – one of the premier sprinters in the LSC in 2011 (2nd in both the 100 and 200), she redshirted in 2012. Her return should also help Tarleton field a very competitive 4x100 relay this year
Other returnees who might help – Ashley Allen (13th in the 100 hurdles); Brittney Drolette (13th in the 800); Ashley Husbands (13th in the 1500); Kyndall Trnka (12th in the 800, after finishing 11th in the 10K in 2011)

KEY NEWCOMERS – a good recruiting class that should easily fill the few holes left by graduation and provide lots of quality depth:
·    Hannah Chambers – Fr from Kerrville Tivy – 2nd in the discus and 8th in the shot put in the Dist 28-4A meet
·    Danyelle Dillard – Fr from Eden – was the 1A state shot put champ in 2011 while at Loraine
·    Taylor Eary – Fr    from Salado – ran on the 2A state champ 4x100 relay
·    Deylinn Garrett – Fr from DeSoto – runnerup in the Dist 11-5A meet in the 100 hurdles and in the 400 hurdles, before 7th in the 100 hurdles at the Reg II-5 meet
·    Shelby Greenwalt – Fr from Shamrock – 4th in the 1A state meet 400
·    Katelin Huckabee – Fr from Belton – at the Dist 12-5A meet she was 2nd in the 3200 and 3rd in the 1600, then placed 31st in the LSC XC meet last fall
·    Arius Dupont-Jackson – Fr from Killeen – 8th in the Region I-4A triple jump, after finishing 3rd in that event at the Dist 8-4A meet, also 6th in the long jump at that meet
·    Brianna Jackson – Soph from Giddings and a transfer from Texas Lutheran – she won the American Southwest shot put and was 9th in the hammer – the last time Tarleton got a transfer from the D-III ASC, it was Lindsey Hinton (see above)
·    Stephanie Kornegay – Fr from Yoakum – 7th in the 3A 300 hurdles in 2010, 4th Region IV-3A 300 hurdles in 2012
·    Marissa Westbrook – Fr    from Shallowater – 3rd 3A shot put
·    Hannah White – Fr from Arlington Grace Prep – in the TAPPS 4A meet, she was 3rd in the 100 and 5th in the 200

Tarleton has several intriguing prospects in the throws, plus enough sprinters to field a 4x100 in 2012. This team certainly looks in good shape to challenge for a top 3 spot with Angelo, ACU and West Texas A&M.

MEN – I simply cannot imagine more bad fortune hitting a team in one year than what happened to the Tarleton men in 2012. Coach Pat Ponder has cleaned house of many of his non-producers and has added lots of good, young talent to his roster. The cross country season saw three of his young guns move into the top 10 at the conference meet and that bodes well for track as well.

ATHLETES LOST – Tarleton lost 2 kids who scored who were seniors – Jamal Mays (8th in the 100, 14th in the 200, and ran a leg on the 7th place 4x400 relay for a grand total of 1.5 points) and Hayden Eubanks (8th in the shot put and 9th in the discus for one point, but in 2011 he was 3rd in the shot put and 5th in the discus for 10 points – a huge drop off for a team that only scored 14 total points in 2012). Tarleton also lost Gabriel Castillo, who was only 21st in the 100 and 24th in the 200, but who scored half a point by running on the 7th place 4x400; Cyler Matlock, who fell in the 110 hurdle prelims in 2012 and did not score a point, but who was 5th in the 110H and 8th in the high jump in 2011 scoring 5 points; and John Morin, who was the 2nd fastest qualifier in the 400 prelims in 2011 and who was injured later in the meet and did not run in the finals – he never seemed to bounce back from that injury in 2011, only finishing 21st in the 400 last year. Eubanks, Matlock and Morin all had the potential for big points at one time or another over the past 2 years and between them, they scored 1 point in 2012.

KEY RETURNEES – when you only score 14 points total, this list is not terribly long. And, like the Tarleton women, they did not field a 4x100 relay at all – something that will no doubt change in 2013.
·    Jeff Smith – Sr – 2nd in the 400 hurdles and later he was 9th at the national meet. By scoring ½ point on the 4x400 relay, Smith totaled 8.5 points or 60% of Tarleton’s 2012 total
·    Miles Joslin-Jr- 7th in the 10K and 15th in the 5K for 2 points, but he was All-LSC (9th place) in the XC meet last fall
·    Phillip Hayes – 11th in the 200, 14th in the 100 and ½ point in the 4x400 relay
Other returnees who could help – there are some of these guys who could help in 2013: Stefan Campos (19th in the 800); Brian Cooper (10th in the 800); Tye Doty (14th in the 10K, but he was 3rd (!) in the LSC XC meet – he should have a profound effect in 2013); Kyle Johnson (10th 110 hurdles, 11th high jump, 16th 400 hurdles); and Marquis Thompson (13th triple jump, 17th long jump).

NEWCOMERS – add to the small core group of returnees a huge class of newcomers:
·    Robert Adkinson – Fr from Corsicana – the 4a state champ in the 100 in 2011!
·    Travis Allison – Fr from McGregor – 4th in the 2A high jump
·    Payton Best – Fr from Salado – ran on the 4th place 3A 4x100, plus won the Dist 25-3A long jump
·    Jeffrey Currie – Fr from New Waverly – just missed the state meet by finishing 3rd in the Region III-2A 1600 and 5th in the 3200
·    Phillip Gosnell  - Fr from Eastland – at the 2A state meet, he was 3rd in the shot put and 6th in the discus
·    Clarencio Guerrero – Fr from Austin St. Michael’s – at the TAPPS 5A meet, he was 3rd in the 200, 4th in the triple jump, plus running on the championship 4x200 relay and the runner-up 4x400 relay
·    Jordan Jones – Fr from Stephenville HS – 2nd in the Dist 8-4A 100
·    Randall Kadlacek – Fr from Riesel, where he won the state 1A 110 hurdles and was 3rd in the 300 hurdles and the triple jump
·    Cameron Krc – Fr from Fort Worth Southwest Christian – won the TAPPS 4A 400 and was 3rd in the 200
·    Anthony Parisi – Fr from Flower Mound HS – 5th in the state 5A 300 hurdles, plus 3rd in the Dist 8-5A 110 hurdles
·    Thorne Pettigrew – Fr from Rockwall – 3rd in the Dist 10-4A 800, then a competitive 5th in the Reg II-4A 800
·    James Polasek – Fr from Smithson Valley – a cross country specialist in HS, he ran 41st in the LSC XC last fall
·    Chase Rathke – RS-Fr from Crawford – the 2A state champ in the 1600 and 3200 in 2011, he redshirted last year, then finished 7th in the LSC XC and has run extremely well indoors at Texas Tech running unattached – he could be a major factor in the 1500 and 5K
·    Joshua Reed – Jr from Hammond, LA, St. Thomas Aquinas and a transfer from Southeast Louisiana – he won the Louisiana 2A long jump in 2009
·    Conner Wilkes – Fr from Lubbock HS – 3rd in the Dist 2-5A 200
·    Brendon Williams – Soph  from Dallas Skyline and a transfer from Southwestern Christian College in Terrell – he ran at least 1 year at Southwestern, but good luck in finding any results for anyone running there – there are some talented kids who come out of there, but it is next to impossible to find results on anyone there
·    Dylan Willett – Fr from Smithson Valley – 2nd in the 4A 3200 in 2012, he was ranked #10 in Texas among ALL high schoolers in that event in 2012 – finished a somewhat disappointing 25th in the LSC XC, after a very strong early season
·    Mason Wrobel – Fr from Arlington Lamar – 4th in the Dist 4-5A 1600 and 3200

This may well be the best recruiting class in the LSC this year. This group of recruits will produce some points immediately in 2013 and will provide long-term depth for the team for the next 2-3 years. I look to see Tarleton compete much better in 2013 and potentially moving up as high as 4th or 5th.

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