The TexAnn indoor track and field team made school history this season

The TexAnns became the first nationally ranked indoor track and field team in Tarleton history, in addition to breaking seven school records at their opening meet.

Bethany Brooks/Senior Reporter

The Tarleton State University men and women’s track teams are gearing up for their spring season. Last year, the team was able to come home from the NCAA championships with six All-Americans. Head Coach Pat Ponder hopes to guide the teams back to that championship this season.

“Our mission is to improve upon marks, times, and team results from last year,” said Ponder. “One way we are helping to accomplish this is by adding more of a conditioning phase than last year.”

The teams’ first meet was held in Lubbock for the Texas Tech Open. The meet resulted in six new school records and numerous NCAA marks.

The next track meet will take place on Feb. 13. A select few athletes from the teams will travel to Birmingham, AL to compete in the Samford Elite Invitational. After that, the teams will be back at Texas Tech University for the Red Raider Open on Feb. 20.

The Lone Star Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships will be next for the indoor season on Feb. 28 – March 1 in Lubbock.

Tarleton will host their invitational on March 5. The home meet will kick off the outdoor running season.

Chase Rathke, defending outdoor national champion in the 1500m run, hopes to keep his title for another season.

“My plans are to run my best at each meet,” said Rathke. “If a record is established, so be it. I want to stay healthy and defend my national championship in the 1500m run. My goal for indoor [track and field] this season is to win the mile run.”

In addition to gearing up for a new season, the TexAnns have cause to celebrate. After the team broke seven  school records in the first meet of the season, they reached no. 25 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national rankings, becoming the first indoor track and field team in Tarleton history to achieve national ranking status. This is only the women’s second year in NCAA indoor track and field.

The conference championships for outdoor track will be May 7 – May 9.