EL DORADO, Kansas — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams capped off the season with a pair of top-five finishes Saturday at the 2018 NJCAA Div. I Outdoor Track and Field National Championships at BG Products Veterans Sports Complex on the campus of Butler Community College.
The Texans placed second overall with 112.5 points, with Barton County taking the top position with 128 points. Cloud County finished third with 67 points, while Western Texas and Central Arizona rounded out the top five. The Lady Texans ended the year tied for fourth with Barton County with 67 points. New Mexico Junior College won the women's division with 139 points, while Central Arizona and Iowa Central took second and third.
"We had our chances today but didn't execute the way we're capable, and ended up getting beat by a team that was better than us the entire weekend," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "They wanted it more than us, and every time I thought we were going to get back at them they had someone do something good for them. We need to reset, and all of the other teams out here except for one would happily change places with us, but our kids competed well and just fell a little short today. We're going to miss these sophomores, but we have a good group of freshmen. We'll be back"
Freshman Markim Felix kicked off day three with a first-place finish in the men's javelin as he set a new national record with a throw of 234' 1". The Texans placed a pair of sprinters in the top five in the men's 110 hurdles including sophomore Mason Weh who was crowned national champion with a blistering time of 13.80. Sophomore William Watson turned in a time of 13.98, picking up a fifth-place national finish.
In the men's 400-meter dash, sophomore Junior Charles earned a spot on the winner's stand with his time of 47.25, good enough for fifth overall. Myles Scott clocked a 52.31 in the men's 400 hurdles to take sixth and was joined by teammate William Watson who finished eighth with a 54.36. In his final race for South Plains College, veteran long-distance specialist Felix Kosgei placed seventh in the men's 5000 meters with a final time of 15:19.32.
The Texans placed a pair of throwers inside the top seven in the men's discus as Felix placed fourth with a throw of 165' 3", while freshman Riley Finnegan placed seventh with a mark of 158' 10". Competing for the orange and blue in his final meet, sophomore jumper Fabian Edoki would not be denied as he capped his career in Levelland with a first-place finish in the men's triple jump, soaring 52' 6.75". Edoki was joined on the winner's stand by teammates Holland Martin and Danylo Molchanov who placed fifth and sixth for the Texans. Martin turned in a final mark of 50' 2.50", while Molchanov placed sixth with a jump of 49' 8.25". In the final race of the meet, the Texans clocked a season-best 3:07.41 in the men's 4x400 as Charles, Ian Gonzales, Jordan Atkinson, and Montel Hood placed third for South Plains
Patrice Moody would get things rolling for the Lady Texans as the freshman sprinter turned in a final time of 14.16 in the women's 100 hurdles, earning a fourth-place national finish. In the women's 400 meters, sophomore Natassha McDonald defended her national crown as she ran away from the field down the stretch to repeat as national champion, turning in a final time 53.44.
Freshman Janiel Moore ended the year with a fifth-place national finish in the women's 400 hurdles, clocking a time of 1:02.90 to end the season. The Lady Texans were well represented in the women's 5000 meters as the sophomore duo of Seselia Dala and Leslie Romero turned in a fifth and eighth place finish for South Plains. Each running their final race for the Lady Texans, Dala placed fifth with a time of 18:36.55, while Romero took eighth with an 18:54.70.
In the women's triple jump, freshman Ruth Usoro impressed once again, ending the year with a fourth-place national finish with a jump of 41' 7.25". The Lady Texans would then turn in a second place finish in the women's 4x100 relay as Omotayo Abolaji, Moody, Usoro and Agnes Abrocquah placed fourth overall with a time of 45.34. In their final race of the season, the Lady Texans ended the year with a third-place finish in the women's 4x400 relay as Ashley Hughes, Moore, Abrocquah, and McDonald clocked a 3:40.25.