There are not many freshmen who have led their 4×400 meter relay team in a qualifier for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
De’Marcus Porter, freshman sprinter, ran the fastest split of the heat on the team, clocking in at 45.63.
“It’s pretty crazy,” Porter said. “No one, including myself, thought that I would be running this fast this early. This just sets the bar for the upcoming years. I’ll need to work harder to continue to run faster.”
Porter’s split aided Texas State in recording the second-fastest 4×400 time in school history. The 3:06.08 time pushed the Bobcats past TCU and Texas for 11th place, qualifying the team for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Giles McDonnell, sprints and hurdles coach, said Porter has the heart of a competitor and it is hard to predict what he will do on the field.
“It’s evident,” McDonnell said. “He has something that you can’t coach.”
McDonnell played an important role in Porter’s progression during his freshman season.
“The coaches were the main reason why I chose to come to Texas State,” Porter said. “I was doing some research on their backgrounds and I liked what I saw. They just want to see us succeed. They expect you to give your all, and if you do that there isn’t much that can go wrong.”
An Arkansas native, Porter moved to Texas at 8-years-old. It was in Texas that he started to put time into track and field through his high school’s summer programs.
During his senior season at Southwest High School, Porter was awarded the Ann Brannon Award and recorded his career bests—10.6 in the 100-meter dash and a 21.4 in the 200-meters.
Before committing to Texas State, Porter established himself as a prestigious sprinter with his success at the Junior Olympics. He qualified in the 100 and 200-meter dashes.
“When we recruited him we knew he could be a 100-meter, 200-meter guy,” McDonnell said. “But we also knew that he would have some 400-meter ability. He’s just versatile.”
Porter said this season was unexpected.
“I’ve just been working hard since we started back in September,” Porter said. “I just make sure I take care of my body, which includes ice baths twice a week and eating healthy. I’ve just learned to take it week-by-week, one track meet at a time.”
Coach Dana Boone said the Bobcats understand being responsible for their own jobs. The NCAA West Preliminaries were the first time Boone felt all four sprinters had a successful meet as a whole, resulting in the qualification for the outdoor championships.
Porter and the rest of the men’s 4×400 meter relay team have one more chance to improve their time before the season ends.