LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's cross country teams will look to add to their trophy case come Saturday when they travel to Ranger for the 2018 Region V Cross Country Championships on the campus of Ranger Community College.
The women's 5k will get underway at 10:30 a.m., followed by the men's 8k at 11:15.
Ranked 10th in the latest USTFCCCA national polls, the Texans will be in the hunt for a third consecutive region championship after capturing the region title a season ago on their home course in Levelland. Led by sophomore standout Andrew Bosquez who finished first overall in their previous outing at the South Plains College Open, the Texans have won team titles three times in 2018 and will look to do the same come Saturday.
"We've spent the past couple weeks training hard, and we had a couple weather issues with the rain and the normal routes we run," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "Coach Barker and our crew have worked through it and have done a good job getting things done right. Our main goal was to get everyone fit and ready to run, and I think we're on our way. More than anything, we're really looking forward to the national meet in a couple weeks."
Ranked 18th in the national polls, the Lady Texans will be eyeing a region title and look to build on a strong outing in the previous meet in Levelland. Despite competing with just four runners and unable to place in the team standings, the Lady Texans placed two runners inside the top five and three in the top 20 of the women's 5k. Freshman Gladys Jemaiyo earned a second place overall finish for the Lady Texans, crossing the finish line at 18:20.40. South Plains' Dorcus Ewoi used a time of 19:04.00 to take third overall amongst 78 runners, while freshman Angela Rodriguez placed 18th with a time of 20:42.50.
"Andrew is a great leader for us and so is Jessie, and Jessie is really starting to push and compete in practice and he's turned a corner," assistant coach Frank Barker said. "Filmon Beyene has been running well, and on the ladies' side, this group of freshmen is maturing and really starting to figure it out, and they're starting to develop what I call team awareness and knowing where they are in the race, and also knowing where their teammates are and are starting to close the gaps."