The progression of Chase Riley’s track career has been steady. And consistent.
So by the time the West Plains, Mo., product graduated from high school he was one of the best high jumpers in the nation.
With a state record jump of 7-foot-1, Riley is ranked in the Top 10 nationally among high school performers. According to Athletic.net, he ranks 6th nationally, the second highest-ranked Red Wolves addition in the Jim Patchell tenure.
“I feel like I perform better when there is good competition,’’ said Riley, who also considered Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma among others. “Early in the year I did not compete in many mets because there weren’t enough good meets. My coach and I decided to taper off early and get ready for the big meets.
In his final four meets of the season he went 7-foot, 7-1, 6-10, 6-10.
“I was really started to take off at the end of the season,’’ he said.
As a freshman he placed 12th in the state meet, was third (6-foot-7) as a sophomore and won the Class 4 title the last two seasons. He cleared 6-8 in the rain to win as a junior and topped 6-10 for the state title this season.
“I did not jump well at state this year,’’ he said.
He also played for the Zizzers basketball team where as a 6-foot-2 post player, he averaged in double figures scoring and rebounding “and had a couple of triple-doubles.”
Undecided on a major, Riley felt comfortable with the A-State coaches and the proximity of Jonesboro to West Plains, a distance of about 2 hours. He also has a sister enrolled in the occupational therapy program at A-State.
“I just really liked the family atmosphere,’’ he said. “It reminded me a lot of they way my high school teams were.”
Arkansas State men’s track team won the Sun Belt outdoor title and finished second in the SBC indoor meet.