South Plains track and field in contention for national gold heading into championship Saturday

South Plains track and field in contention for national gold heading into championship Saturday

EL DORADO, Kansas — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams put themselves in contention to compete for national gold come Saturday following another solid outing on day two of the 2018 NJCAA Div. I Track and Field Outdoor National Championships Friday at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex on the campus of Butler Community College.

The Texans will enter championship Saturday in second with 43.5 points, trailing only Barton County who has tallied 46 points after two days of competition. Cloud County sits in third with 42 points. The Lady Texans have racked up 25 points heading into day three with Iowa Central holding the top position with 54 points.

"Both us and Barton will be in double digits on Saturday in terms of opportunities to score, and there are three teams that can go win this thing tomorrow," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "I think we're in a good position and we have enough bullets left and just need to put them on target."

The Texans will return to action at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the men's javelin as freshman Markim Felix enters the competition as the favorite as he currently ranks first in the country with a mark of 250' 3". The Texans will also look to score big in the men's triple jump, an event in which they bring in three of the top four jumpers in the country. Freshman Holland Martin enters Saturday ranked first in the country with a jump of 52' 8.25", while Danylo Molchanov and Fabian Edoki are tied for third as they each posted a mark of 50' 10.25".

"We have three guys jumping for us tomorrow, and all of them are capable of jumping 16 meters," Vance said. "I think they're one of the few in the group who have the ability to do that, so we need them to go and do so tomorrow. They're all ready to go, and I think we will see some good things out of all three. If we can do well early on tomorrow in the triple jump, it can put us in a very good spot and get the momentum going for us the rest of the day."

South Plains placed two athletes inside the top six at the conclusion of the decathlon as Asani Hytlon placed fourth with 6341 points, and Patrick Johnson took sixth with 6005 points. Hylton clocked a 15.05 and placed first in the 110 hurdles on Friday and placed third in the 1500 meter run with a 4:42.50. Johnson capped the competition with a fourth-place finish in the pole vault after clearing 12' 1.50", and also placed fifth in the discus with a throw of 103' 4".

Sophomore Felix Kosgei tacked on four points for South Plains in the men's 3000-meter steeplechase as he took fifth overall with a 9:31.46. Felix also tacked on two points for the Texans in the men's shot put with a seventh-place finish thanks to a throw of 52' 8.75".

Ranked sixth entering the national meet, sophomore Bosibori Mosongo proved she was one of the countries' best as she concluded the heptathlon with a third place overall finish with 4085 points. Mosongo began day two with a first-place finish in the javelin with a mark of 100' 6". Mosongo followed up with a third-place finish in the long jump as she soared 16' 6.50" on her second attempt.

Leslie Romero, a sophomore from Houston added four points for the Lady Texans in the women's 3000-meter steeplechase with a fifth-place national finish as she turned in a final time of 11:36.68.

Advancing to Saturday's finals:

Mason Weh (Men's 110 hurdles, 3rd, 14.14)

William Watson (Men's 110 hurdles, 5th, 14.32; Men's 400 hurdles, 6th, 52.48)

Junior Charles (Men's 400 meters, 8th, 47.22)

Myles Scott (Men's 400 hurdles, 7th, 52.52)

Brandon Letts, Andre Edwards, Keion Sutton, Willari Watson (Men's 4x100, 4th, 40.13)

Charles, Jordan Atkinson, Ian Gonzales, Montel Hood (Men's 4x400, 2nd, 3:09.96)

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)

Patrice Moody (Women's 100 hurdles, 4th, 14.16)

Ashley Hughes, Moore, Abrocquah, McDonald (Women's 4x400, 4th, 3:42.43)