Moitalel Mpoke sets 600-yard collegiate record Saturday in Lubbock

Moitalel Mpoke sets 600-yard collegiate record Saturday in Lubbock

LUBBOCK — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams wrapped up the Texas Tech Shootout on Saturday at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center, walking away with a new collegiate record with a single meet left before the Indoor National Championships.

In the men's 600 yard run, sophomore Moitalel Mpoke did something no other collegiate athlete has been able to do, clocking the fastest time to date in the event with a 1:06.93. The Texans placed two more runners in the top five as Khaleb McRae crossed the line in 1:09.11, while Issac Hastings was fifth in 1:11.67.

"Any time you can do something at South Plains College with the tradition we have, to have a guy break a national collegiate record, I'm not sure I can really grasp it yet," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "I'm ecstatic for Mo, he's one of the best kids I've ever had, and he's an outstanding human being. He's obviously talented on the track, but that doesn't say nearly enough about him as a person. He's a kid who works for everything he's got, and to break that record is something you don't expect to be able to do, and kudos to coach Miller and coach Hobbs who helped get him where he is right now."

The Texans won another event title in the men's high jump open with a pair of SPC jumpers placing in the top three. Freshman Jaden Halliburton won the event with a mark of 6' 11.75", while Spencer Bigner was third in 6' 4.75". In the men's high jump invite, freshman Romaine Beckford earned a third place finish with a mark of 6' 11.75". In the men's pole vault open, sophomore Rylan Olguin tied for seventh overall with a clearance of 15' 8.5".

Freshman Onaara Obamuwagun was in prime fashion in the women's triple jump, picking up an event title with a first place finish with a mark of 43' 0.25". Denvaughn Whymns picked up a sixth place finish in the men's 60-meter hurdles, posting a final time of 8.06. Sophomore All-American Dorcus Ewoi clocked a 1:24.38 in the women's 600 yards, earning the sophomore standout a fifth place finish overall.

"Onaara jumped really well and continues to work every day and get better," Vance said. "We didn't PR, but we got some things done that can help her realize her potential. Rosemary ran well in the 200 and put together a good race and continues to get better. For our high jumpers to jump a centimeter behind last year's indoor and outdoor national champion, and to come and jump all but seven feet and put up one of the top marks in the country was great."

In the women's 200 meters, freshman Rosemary Chukwuma earned a fifth place finish for the Lady Texans, posting a time of 23.89. The Lady Texans would pick up a third place finish in the women's 5000 meters, running a 17:54.58. The Texans would also finish in the top five in the men's 5000 meters as freshman Abdirizak Ibrahim took fourth in 15:28.03.

"At the end of the day we're getting close, and I feel like every week we're improving and getting better. I feel like we have a team that can be in the hunt with both our men and women, and I'm excited about what the next three weeks hold for us. We're going to be there at the end, and if our freshmen kids continue to grow and figure out the competition, we will have a chance."