LEVELLAND—A week after sweeping the New Mexico Junior College Invitational in Hobbs, the South Plains College men's and women's cross country teams will return to action on Saturday when they host the South Plains College Open at Brashear Lake Park beginning with the women's 5k at 10:45 a.m.
The men's 8k will get underway at 11:15 and both races will be streamed live at spctexans.com at the following link: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/spc/
The Texans enter Saturday as winners of their last four meets, a trend they will look to continue on their home course. Previously ranked fourth in the USTFCCCA national polls, the Texans moved up a spot and will enter Saturday ranked third in the country.
"I think when you get on a winning streak like this, people start to take note of it," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "The person who is actually in charge of the rankings for our region was with us in New Mexico and was able to see us run in person for the first time. I don't think it has changed a whole lot, but I think it's a good indicator of where we're at and what we can do."
Led by a trio of sophomores, the Lady Texans placed first a week ago, knocking off the No. 13 Lady Thunderbirds on their home course. The Lady Texans earned a No. 12 ranking in the latest national polls and will look to build on an already impressive resume come Saturday.
"We were able to kind of scare New Mexico's top runner and got on her tail and gave her some chase," assistant coach Frank Barker said. "She beat our girl who finished first for us by eight seconds, and to me that's significant. That gave our girls a good idea that they can compete and that they can really run."
Last time out:
Felix Kosgei earned his fourth top finish in as many weeks in the men's 8k with a time of 24:20.27. Andrew Bosquez turned in a second place finish with a mark of 24:41.09, while Filmon Beyene and Erick Arambula placed fourth and fifth with times of 25:01.09 and 25:13.50.
The Lady Texans were just as impressive in the women's 5k placing three runners inside the top five, led by sophomore standout Leslie Romero. A week after earning her first collegiate victory for the orange and blue, Romero placed second on Friday with a dazzling time of 18:37.70. South Plains' Seselia Dala placed third with a mark of 19:16.30, while Poro Gahekave placed fifth with a time of 19:36.29.
USTFCCCA complete national rankings:
Head coach Erik Vance and assistant Frank Barker preview the 2017 South Plains College Open.