Natalie Rathjen has won numerous trophies and titles as a distance runner at Highland Park High School, but she had never won a state track and field championship until today.
Rathjen took first place in the 3,200 meters at the Class 4A state meet this morning in Austin. Her time of 10 minutes, 23.92 seconds set a new 4A state record in the event, and put her almost 19 seconds ahead of runner-up Evelyn Chavez of New Caney Porter.
Rathjen is making her fourth appearance at the state track meet, and her third in multiple events. She won a state cross country title in the fall.
The senior will compete again tonight in the 1,600 meters. Highland Park’s Gabby Crank (800) and Andrew Clyde (shot put) also will aim for gold.