Athlete Spotlight: Chase Rathke

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Athlete Spotlight: Chase Rathke

Katt Stowers/ Grassburr 2016

Katt Stowers/ Grassburr 2016

Katt Stowers/ Grassburr 2016

Katt Stowers/ Grassburr 2016

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“You can get to a certain point with talent but then it comes down to doing the little things.”

This quote senior runner Chase Rathke lives by has certainly paid off. This year, Rathke won third place in the Mile Run at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in Pittsburg, Kansas. Rathke is no stranger to national medals. Since his arrival at Tarleton State University his freshman year, Rathke has earned three bronze medal at the indoor national championship in the mile run and the 800m, respectively.

“It’s bittersweet to receive third again this year in indoor track,” Rathke said. “The past couple of years I was only behind by less than a second, so it feels good to be third [in the nation] but at the same time it makes me want to be better and win again.”

And no achievements that high have come easily. Rathke has been running since seventh grade but first realized his true potential during his sophomore year of high school at Crawford High School.

“I knew I had the ability to do well in this sport and achieve what I have so far, but I didn’t know if I would ever reach it.”

Rathke says that one of the most challenging things while running is to keep going and to continue getting better. “Once you get to a certain point in this sport you have to continue to do all the little things. Talent only takes you so far then it is up to you to train, and the type of training and intensity are major keys.”

Rathke says running is a big part of  life and he hopes to continue post-college. He is majoring in kinesiology with fitness management and hopes to use this toward becoming a college track coach. He mentioned that he would love to get his masters but he’s looking into running professionally.

“It’s really just up in the air, Rathke says. “If I start running professionally and there is a school nearby then yeah I may try for my masters. But my top priority is trying to get a Graduate Assistant position at a college and gain some experience before coaching on my own.”

When asked what his favorite event is, Rathke admits it’s the mile. “The mile. In outdoor it’s called the 1500m; the European mile, being only 109 meters short of an actual mile,” Rathke says. “I also do the 800m but it’s a really hard event. Just because there’s so much speed required. I have some speed but not like some of those other guys.”

Now that the Tarleton Track and Field Team has began their 2016 Outdoor Track season, Rathke shares what he’s most looking forward to this year.

“In Outdoor Track we’re getting into some of the bigger races, like the Invitational mile at the Texas Relays [in Austin], Rathke says. “Last year I was the only Division II athlete competing against Division I guys and a couple pros. The next big race is in California, I will also be competing against the bigger schools in Division I schools and even some professional runners. Other than that, my next big race is at Baylor. I am really looking forward to these races and see how well I can do.”