Camryn Holloman discovered something new about William Chrisman High School track and field coach Tyler Rathke on a recent 14-hour bus trip to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
That’s where she and fellow Chrisman athlete Jordon Woods competed in an elite field at the 43rd annual Great Southwest Track and Field Classic.
“The man can sleep anywhere,” joked Holloman, who shattered her school triple jump record of 37 feet, 1 inch with a leap of 38-7.5 at the Great Southwest meet. “I can’t sleep on a bus, but every time I looked over at Coach Rathke, he was sleeping away.”
Which was fine with Holloman, because when he’s not sleeping, he is building a track and field program at Chrisman that is drawing rave reviews across the state.
While Holloman learned that sleeping on a bus is no problem for her coach, Rathke learned that Woods and Holloman rank among the elite athletes in the United States.
Like Holloman, Woods reached new heights in the triple jump, breaking his school mark of 48 feet, 1 inch with a first-place 48-7.25 effort.
“This is how good the field was down there,” Rathke said. “They were competing against athletes from Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Colorado, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois, and Jordon finishes in first place and Camryn finishes in 13th – competing against the best of the best!
“I am so excited to see what Jordon does at Pittsburg State and I have Camryn for another year at Chrisman and the sky’s the limit for each of them.”
Holloman said she was not expecting a school record-breaking effort at the elite meet.
“We had just come off state (where she finished eighth in the triple jump) and Coach asked if we wanted to go to the Great Southwest meet and we said sure,” Holloman said. “And I jumped 38-2 and 38-7 1/2 – I don’t know where that came from, but it got me excited.”
Woods – who has made a remarkable return from tearing his ACL while playing football for the Bears in 2016 – said he wanted to be able to compete with the elite.
“I just want to go out and compete and rise to the occasion,” Woods said. “If I’m competing against the best in the country, I want to be considered one of the best. And I think i was able to do that at the meet.”
Rathke, Woods and Hollman will leave soon for the 28th annual New Balance Nationals Outdoor meet, which runs June 15-17 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Rathke has raised most of the funding for his athletes to compete, but is short $250. He’s asking if someone would like to make a donation to the trip, to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.