A large bank of clouds provided a welcome break to the steamy Wednesday morning heat as William Chrisman’s head track and field coach Tyler Rathke and throws assistant coach Lindsey Markworth honed their craft for upcoming competitive events that they will participate in this summer.
There was a lot of good natured barbing and some impressive shows as Rathke worked on the shot put, discus and hammer and Markworth fine-tuned her throws in the shot and discus.
When it comes to throwing events, few area coaches can match the past success and expertise of this Bears duo.
Markworth, who is entering her second year on the Bears staff, was an All-Big 12 thrower at the University of Missouri. While attending Lexington High School, she won four shot put state championships (1998-2001) and two discus titles (2000, 2001).
Rathke, who has risen through the ranks and become one of the most respected track coaches in the metro area, won a Kansas discus state title in 2009 and shot and discus crowns in 2010 at Hays (Kan.) High School.
Rathke will throw the hammer and discus July 12 at the K-State Games in Manhattan, Kansas, and will compete July 13 at Liberty North High School in the hammer, shot put, discus and javelin.
“I’m going to be sore on the 14th,” he quipped, as Markworth nodded in approval.
Markworth will compete in the shot, discus and hammer July 12-13 at the United States Track and Field Championships at Ames, Iowa.
“We’re getting older,” Markworth said, casting a sly glance at Rathke, “and that doesn’t make this any easier. But it’s still fun to go out and compete.”
He nodded, and added, “I think it’s a big deal to still be committed and competitive. It’s like I’m coaching myself, and it’s fun.”
Rathke loves to compete almost as much as he does coaching. Over the past three years he has coached four individual state champions, one state runner-up, one top 10 finisher, 12 all-state athletes, 26 all-district performers and 79 all-conference Bears.
And from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 10, he and his staff will play host to some of the elite throws coaches in the nation as Division I, II and III, junior college and NAIA coaches will participate in the Midwest Elite Throws Camp at Chrisman.
“It’s really going to be one of the best throws camp in the country, and it’s right here in everyone’s backyard,” Rathke said. “We’re going to have 20 of the best coaches in the country and right now, we have 130 athletes signed up, so it should be exciting.”