Albuquerque, N.M. — The South Plains College women's cross country team proved to be one of the top programs in the country Saturday, placing fourth overall at the NJCAA Cross Country National Championships at the University of New Mexico.
The Lady Texans finished with 135 points, with Iowa Central placing first with 60 points, followed by New Mexico JC with 107, and El Paso CC with 125.
South Plains placed four runners in the top 25 and two in the top 10, including sophomore All-American Gladys Jemaiyo who placed third nationally with a time of 17:15 in the women's 5k. Sophomore Dorcus Ewoi wasn't far behind, turning in a final time of 18:09 for an eighth-place overall finish. Itzel Garcia-Santos earned a 20th place overall finish, clocking a 19:15 for the Lady Texans, while Daisy Kibet placed 21st in a time of 19:16, each earning All-American honors.
"Our women's team really competed well on a tough course and finished with four All-Americans," said South Plains cross country coach Frank Barker who was named the Women's West Region Coach of the Year. "About halfway through we were second and one of our girls went down with an asthma attack, so that hurt us a bit in the final standings. That's just the nature of the sport, but all in all our kids competed hard and did everything they could."
The Texans competed with two runners on Saturday with freshman Abdirizak Ibrahim earning All-American honors for South Plains. The Amarillo native turned in a final time of 25:25 in the men's 8k with an average mile of 5:07, placing 24th overall.
South Plains will be back in action on Nov. 23 when they travel to El Paso for the 2019 NJCAA Half Marathon National Championships on the campus of El Paso Community College.