Rachelle Locey ’19 is a psychology and Hispanic studies double major from Corvallis, Oregon. She was recruited to the Lewis & Clark track and field team for horizontal jumps in her senior year of high school and has been on the team all four years.
Locey has consistently set personal records and season bests nearly every meet of the season. She began hurdling this year and qualified for the conference championships in her first competition. She is ranked among the top in the conference.
Interim Head Coach and Recruiting Coordinator Aaron Campbell described Locey’s substantial contributions to the team.
“She’s one of the top hurdlers in the conference in her first year of hurdling,” Campbell said. “It really speaks to the type of ability and commitment she brings to the team.”
In the 2019 season, Locey began competing in the heptathlon, which is the women’s multi-event competition. It consists of seven events spread out over two days: high jump, shot put, the 100-meter hurdles, the 800-meter race, the 200-meter race, javelin and long jump.
“I think that I’ve grown a lot as an athlete through that experience,” Locey said. “I really enjoyed trying new events and being able to grow my competitive side that way.”
The heptathlon is widely regarded to be one of the most grueling and mentally draining events in track & field. Locey qualified for conference and cemented herself of the all-time list in her first competition for heptathlon, just as she did with hurdles.
“She’s best known for being a great jumper in the long and triple jump,” Campbell said. “One of our most lethal and powerful horizontal jumpers that we’ve ever had here at Lewis & Clark.”
Locey’s biggest challenges this season were balancing her senior year responsibilities and commitments, as well as treating a stress fracture in her fibula.
“Mentally preparing and having the courage and determination throughout the rest of the season to compete even when I have a stress fracture has been a big task,” Locey said.
Since the season is winding down, Locey’s training has tapered along with her teammates’ to include fewer days on the track and more days doing low-impact workouts. The fibula is not a weight-bearing bone, so she is still able to weight train regularly to maintain her strength.
When she’s off the track, Locey is involved with many campus groups. She is a Student Life Intern for the athletic department and works closely with Associate Director of Physical Education & Athletics Sharon Sexton. She is on the leadership team for Pioneer Christian Fellowship and is the ASLC Representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Locey also works with Specialty Athletic Training, a program that helps children and adults with special needs engage with physical education and athletic training.
Bryce Johnson ’19, Locey’s fellow teammate and close friend, speaks of her strong character and warm personality.
“She’s always smiling and says hi to everybody,” Johnson said. “She’s a bright smiling face and very competitive. Overall a great person and a great teammate, and always there to pick you up.”
As she prepares for graduation, Locey reflects on her four years on the team.
“I’m going to miss everything about Lewis & Clark track and field,” Locey said. “I’m really grateful for all the relationships I developed with my teammates and my coaches, they have been the biggest support system for me, and I am so grateful for their constant encouragement in my life.”
Locey plans to join a track club after graduating and hopes to pursue a career coaching track and field, whatever the level may be.
“(Coaching track and field) is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Locey said. “I hope to do that after I graduate.”
Locey’s remarkable work ethic shows prominently in her pursuits and her contributions throughout her time at LC. She will be sorely missed by her teammates and coaches, but all are excited to see her go on to shatter expectations just as she shatters records.