* Denotes National Qualifying Mark
LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams were back in action for the first time in nearly 10 months as they hosted the South Plains College Indoor Invite #1 at the Texan Track & Field Complex Friday.
"It felt really good to be back," South Plains track and field head coach Erik Vance said. "We hit some national marks and left some up there and I think there's a lot of places we can improve, and I think we're going to. These kids have been training like a group that is going to get better and going to put up some good marks. It was definitely a different atmosphere today than what we are used to, but we're going to enjoy the good and get better at things we need to improve on."
Sophomore Rosemary Chukwuma got things rolling for the Lady Texans in the women's 60-meter dash, posting the top time in 7.46*. Success Umokoro wasn't far behind, taking second in the 60 meters in 7.78*. Jordan Brown followed up with a first-place finish in the women's 200 meters, clocking a 25.36. In the women's 800 meters, Camille Lewis turned in the fastest time in 2:25.03, while Tia Harry took first in the women's 60 hurdles with a time of 9.05*.
Defending indoor triple jump national champion Onaara Obamuwagun placed first in the women's long and triple jump events, soaring 18' 5.25"* in the long jump, and set a new personal best in the triple jump with a mark of 43' 10.75"*. Dejah Fuller would take second in the long jump and hit a national mark with a final jump of 18' 2.75". Fuller would hit another qualifying mark in the triple jump with a jump of 37' 10.75". In the women's high jump, Ari Vallafranco placed second, clearing 5' 7.25" for the Lady Texans. Griffin Mackenzie followed up with a first-place finish in the women's pole vault, clearing 10' 0"*.
In the women's shot put, South Plains' Genevieve Ige won the event with a throw of 37' 10.5". The Lady Texans would cap the meet with the women's 4x400 relay as Success Umokoro, Keshana Page, Lexi Jackson, and Jordan Brown posted the top time in 3:57.73*.
"Onaara might be the hardest working kid we have on the team, and she's a special athlete," Vance said. "She has a great attitude and works like few kids that I've ever had. She earns everything she gets and more than anything had a great series of jumps today. I think there's a lot more there and a lot she can improve, but I'm really proud for her to open up with a personal best and she had a great day."
Chaunzavia Lewis kicked things off for the Texans with a first-place finish in the men's 60 meters, posting a 6.92. Sophomore Khaleb McRae turned in the top time in the men's 200 meters, clocking a 22.27. In the men's 400 meters, Chris Robinson took the top spot, crossing the line in 48.47*.
In the men's high jump, Romaine Beckford made the most of his first opportunity this season, clearing 7' 0.25"*. Thomas Nieto hit a national qualifying mark in the men's pole vault, clearing the bar at 15' 1.5". The Texans would record a national qualifying mark in the men's 4x400 as McRae, Issac Hastings, Chaunzavia Lewis, and Isaiah Palemer turned in the top time in 3:14.91.
"I knew Romaine was in good shape and he was jumping well in practice, but it's tough sometimes to convert that to actual meets," Vance said. "When you haven't jumped in a meet for an extended period of time it can be tough, but he looked like he hasn't missed a beat. To open up just shy of his PR, there's definitely some really big things coming for him this season in the high jump."
Javon-Taye Williams earned a second-place finish in the men's 800 meters, posting a time of 1:57.09* for the Texans. The Texans had four runners hit national qualifying marks in the men's 60 hurdles, as Justin Guy took first in 8.18, while Nelvin Appiah Konadu was second in 8.32, Chris Robinson placed third in 8.36, and Damarcus Sneed was fourth in 8.38.