COLLEGE STATION, TX — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams capped the weekend at the Charlie Thomas Invitational at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium with a new national record and multiple event titles.
Leading after day one, Sophomore Asani Hylton wrapped up the heptathlon with 5136 points to take first overall. Following first place finishes in the 60 meters, long jump, and high jump on Friday, Hylton opened day two with a second place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 8.56. Hylton would then take fourth in the pole vault with a clearance of 12' 1.5", and second in the 1000 meters with a time of 2:53.44.
"Asani went out and took over that multi-event," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "He took the lead on Friday and never relinquished it. He had a good day today and set a personal best in the hurdles and jumped really well in the pole vault, and by that point, we were chasing some big numbers and were very aggressive. I think it's a score that puts him on notice that he's one of the top multi athletes in the country."
South Plains sophomore Bryson DeBerry captured the Texans second event title, taking first in the men's high jump with a mark of 6' 10.75". Freshman Devaughn Whymns claimed a sixth place overall finish in the men's long jump, soaring 23' 7.5". D'Juan Martin also placed in the top 10 in the long jump for South Plains, turning in a final mark of 23' 1.25".
"For Bryson, a former walk-on for us from Plainview, that was really a great moment for him today," Vance said. "He was in sixth place heading into his final jump, and he was either going to finish sixth or was going to win it, and he jumped the bar and won the thing. For a kid who works as hard as he does and does everything right, to see him go get a win like that in front of a big crowd was a lot of fun."
Whymns would turn in his second top 10 finish of the day in the men's 60-meter hurdles, crossing the line at 8.11, good enough for seventh overall. In the men's 400 meters, freshman Moitalei Mpoke placed ninth for South Plains with a time of 48.16. The Texans ended the weekend with a seventh-place finish in the men's 4x400 relay as Willari Watson, Adrese Atkins, Mpoke, and Noel Hewitt ran a 3:16.43.
A day after breaking the women's indoor 5000-meter national record, South Plains freshman Gladys Jemaiyo placed third in the women's 3000 meters, finishing in 9:54.13. School record holder Ruth Usoro was her usual self in the women's long jump, turning in a final mark of 18' 9.25" to take fifth overall. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi claimed a pair of top 20 finishes in the women's mile run and 3000 meters, running a 5:07.26 in the mile and 10:40.98 in the 3000 meters for the Lady Texans.
"Gladys was thoroughly impressive this weekend," Vance said. "She ran a race last night that leaves a lot of people gassed, and that was a special run and something we didn't quite expect. Watching that race we knew she was going fast and it was something special. She went out and ran the 3k as hard as she possibly could today, and gave everything she had and fought to the end."
Day one results:
Running alongside some of the nation's top NCAA Div. I athletes at the 2019 Charlie Thomas Invitational on the campus of Texas A&M University, South Plains freshman Gladys Jemaiyo represented her school and the NJCAA in prime fashion in the women's 5000-meter run, setting a new national record with a final time of 16:51.52.
Jemaiyo broke the record by over four seconds, previously held by Iowa Central's Leanne Pompeani who clocked a time of 16:55.62 in 2016. A long distance specialist from Kenya, Jemaiyo placed third overall on Friday competing against the likes of Texas A&M, the University of Texas and the University of Houston.
The Texans were represented well in the men's 5000 meters, as freshman Alex Kitum turned in a time of 15:24.86, good enough for sixth, while sophomore Filmon Beyene crossed the line at 15:35.14, placing eighth overall. South Plains' Rylan Olguin placed seventh in the men's 60-meter finals, notching a time of 7.49.
South Plains sophomore standout Asani Hylton leads the heptathlon after four events with 3025 points. Hylton placed first in the 60 meters with a 7.18, took the top spot in the long jump with a mark of 22' 11.25", and also placed first in the high jump, clearing 6' 8.25". The men's heptathlon will continue on Saturday beginning with the 60-meter hurdles at 10:30