Jackson's Talbut to run at Arkansas State

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Riley Talbut

Jackson senior Riley Talbut has proved amphibious during his four years at Jackson High School.

Talbut was a state qualifier in swimming his freshman and sophomore seasons. He opted for cross country his final two years and also found his way to the state level.

Talbut saved his best cross country effort for the Class 4 sectional meet, where his time of 16 minutes, 52 seconds qualified him for the state meet.

He will run his fourth year of track for Jackson this spring, but his competitive running days will not end there.

Talbut will extend his athletic career at the collegiate level when he runs cross country and track for Arkansas State next year.

"I always had an aspiration for this," Talbut said. "If it happened, it happened. If it didn't, it didn't. But I'm pretty excited because it's something I always wanted to do."

Talbut climbed out of the pool after qualifying for the state meet in the 200 freestyle his first two years of high school. He also swam at state on the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.

"I was all right," Talbut said. "I was pretty good for around here, but it doesn't mean too much when you go up around St. Louis and you swim around the country. It just got to the point for me where it just wasn't fun to swim anymore. It's more fun for me to run. It's worked out all right. To be able to go to a Division I school and run, I'd say it worked out pretty good."

Talbut will run cross country in the fall and track in the spring for coach Jim Patchell, who is in his first year at Arkansas State.

Talbut is not sure which distance events he'll run in track for the Red Wolves, who compete in the Sun Belt Conference.

He visited the campus at the end of January.

"I ended up having to go down there by myself because my mom got sick," Talbut said. "It probably made the experience better because I felt like it was like had I gone down there for school. I just fit right in. It was easy and everyone down there was like southern hospitality. It was real nice.

"Their athletic facilities are top notch. Their weight rooms are crazy ... training rooms and where I get to run. They're all really nice."

Talbut said he plans to major in business administration with a sports management minor.

"The ultimate goal is to be like a NCAA compliance officer," Talbut said.,

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