LUBBOCK — The South Plains College men's and women's cross country teams were back on the course Friday at the Texas Tech Open at the Chaparral Ridge Cross Country Course.
The Texans impressed yet again as they finished second overall with 49 points as they placed three runners inside the top five and four in the top 12. Texas Tech won the men's 8k with 33 points, while Lubbock Christian placed third, followed by Abilene Christian and UT-Permian Basin.
Freshman Japhet Toroitich was the first Texan across the finished line as he took third with a time of 26:30:00. Sophomore Filmon Beyene and Andrew Bosquez placed fourth and fifth for South Plains with their times of 26:35:50 and 26:38:70, respectively. Sophomore Jessie Madrid placed 12th for the orange and blue with a time of 27:20:40 as the Texans finished with a final team average of 27:07.96.
"Our guys went out and ran well and we had some guys near the front against a tough field of runners," South Plains assistant coach Frank Barker said. "We still have a little too much space between some of our runners which we will continue to work on, and we're going to be a team to reckon with down the road. We had to pull our number one runner out of the race today, and once we get that squared away we're going to be in great shape."
In just her second race for the Lady Texans, freshman Gladys Jemaiyo took the top spot in the women's 5k for the second time in as many weeks as the Kenya native turned in a final time of 17:56:50, leading the Lady Texans to a fourth-place team finish. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi wasn't far behind as she placed fifth overall amongst 107 runners with a time of 18:30:50. South Plains finished with a final team average of 19:40.00, with Texas Tech, Wayland Baptist, and Abilene Christian taking the top three spots.
"Our women's team ran hard, and they keep improving every day," Barker said. "Our top two girls went out and said 'here we come' and put on a show for everyone out here today. They did a super job and the entire team worked hard and raced well. They were all competitive and hungry, and they saw the big field today with big-name schools and did not get intimidated. Once that gun fired, they went out and ran hard, and I really liked that."
South Plains will be back in action on Sept. 28 in Hobbs as the New Mexico Junior College Invitational, before running on their home course in Levelland at the South Plains College Open on Oct. 6.