EL DORADO, Kansas — Day one of the 2018 NJCAA Div I. Track and Field National Championships got underway from BG Products Veterans Sports Complex on the campus of Butler Community College as the Texans and Lady Texans raced out of the blocks on Thursday.
"We came out and did what we needed to do and have to keep battling tomorrow," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "When we had a chance to stack some points we did, and we didn't have any disasters, so we're in pretty good shape. What our 10k runners did on both sides was huge, and it gave us some good momentum going into Friday."
The Texans currently sit in second with 29.5 points, trailing only Barton County who capped day one with 30 points. Cloud County and Iowa Central are tied for third with 21 points, The Lady Texans tallied 13 points and sit in seventh overall with New Mexico Junior College holding the top position with 30 points.
In the men's decathlon, freshman Asani Hylton leads the pack with 3,848 points, while Patrick Johnson currently sits in fourth for South Plains with 3,601 points. Hylton won the high jump with a mark of 6' 7" and placed second in the long jump with a jump of 22' 5". Johnson placed second in the 100 meter dash with a time of 10.95, and also took second in the 400 meter dash (49.18) and second in the shot put with a throw of 40' 7.75". The decathlon will continue on Friday with the 110 hurdles at 9 a.m.
"We started off the day with a great outing in our multi events, and when you're sitting and No. 1 and No. 4, and are tied for second on the women's side, that's a heck of a day," Vance said. "All three did what we needed to do, and all in all they were competing all day long, and it really showed in the results."
The Texans tallied 13 points in the men's long jump placing two athletes in the top four. Sophomore Fabian Edoki, a now three-time All-American for the orange and blue took second with a mark of 25' 5.50" on his final attempt. Edoki was joined on the winner's stand by teammate Holland Martin who placed fourth with a mark of 24' 9". Freshman Parker Wood tacked on 4.5 more points for South Plains in the men's pole vault with a clearance of 15' 1".
Freshman Andrew Bosquez and sophomore All-American Felix Kosgei capped day one for South Plains with 12 points in the men's 10000 meters. Bosquez racked up eight points with his second-place finish and final time of 31:43.28, while Kosgei placed fifth with a time of 32:02.79.
Sophomore Bosibori Mosongo put herself in contention for a national crown come Friday as the sophomore is currently tied for second in the heptathlon with 2,598 points. Mosongo placed second in the high jump with a mark of 5' 4.25", and third in the shot put with a throw of 31' 4". The heptathlon will continue on Friday beginning with the long jump at 9:30 a.m.
Freshman Ruth Usoro picked up the first points for the Lady Texans in the women's long jump earning a fourth place overall finish with a mark of 19' 3.50". Sophomore Cha'Kaylin Gilbert tacked on two more points for the Lady Texans in the long jump, placing seventh overall with a mark of 18' 3.75". In the women's pole vault, Kodee Scott, a freshman from Olney, Texas earned a seventh-place finish as she cleared 10' 0" on her second attempt, picking up one point for the Lady Texans.
Sophomore veteran long-distance specialist Seselia Dala, a sophomore from Amarillo was her usual self as she placed fourth in the women's 10000 meters, tallying five points for South Plains as she turned in a final time of 39:32.25.
"We couldn't ask for a better way to finish than what we were able to do on both sides of the 10k," Vance said. "Seselia did what she always does and ran a very smart race and placed fourth against a very solid field. You can put her in any race from the 800 to the 10000, and you'll probably never get anything worse than a fifth-place finish, and she's usually in the top four."
Advancing to Saturday's finals:
Junior Charles (Men's 400 meters, 8th, 47.22)
William Watson (Men's 400 hurdles, 6th, 52.48)
Myles Scott (Men's 400 hurdles, 7th, 52.52)
Brandon Letts, Andre Edwards, Keion Sutton, Willari Watson (Men's 4x100, 4th, 40.13)
Natassha McDonald (Women's 400 meters, 2nd, 54.44.)
Janiel Moore (Women's 400 hurdles, 6th, 1:02.62)
Omotayo Abolaji, Patrice Moody, Usoro, Agnes Abrocquah (Women's 4x100, 5th, 45.66)