TOPEKA, Kansas — The South Plains College men's and women's half marathon teams added to the trophy case on Saturday at the 2017 NJCAA Half Marathon Championships at the Lake Shawnee and Bettis Family Sports Complex.
The Texans earned a second place overall finish and finished with a final team time of 3:34:07.8. Iowa Central placed first with a team time of 3:25:50.8. South Plains was led by sophomore All-American Felix Kosgei who placed fourth overall amongst 51 runners with a time of 1:09:54.4.
Freshman Andrew Bosquez was the second Texan to cross the finish line at the 1:11:29.3 mark, good enough for seventh overall. Filmon Beyene earned a 10th place finish for the orange and blue with a time of 1:12:44.0, while Jessie Madrid placed 22nd with his time of 1:15:22.9.
"Our guys ran a very smart race on a tough course and went out at the pace they needed to," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "Felix finished fourth which was a spot better than he finished in cross country, and we were really happy with how our guys went out and competed. To go out and get a second place finish at a national meet is always a positive, and we were pretty ecstatic with how they ran today."
The Lady Texans earned a third-place finish as they placed three runners inside the top 20 and finished with a final team time of 4:22:06.6. Iowa Central placed first with a team time of 4:09:05.3, while El Pass Community College took second with a time of 4:17:09.0.
Sophomore Seselia Dala placed fourth overall amongst 47 runners with a time of 1:23:58.1. Leslie Romero took seventh with a time of 1:27:14.0 while Poro Gahekave placed 16th with her time of 1:30:54.5 and Caitlyn Mercer earned a 22nd place finish for South Plains with a time of 1:33:58.6.
"Our women went out and competed extremely hard like they have done all year," Vance said. "Seselia ran very well and finished inside the top five and Leslie was right there behind her. Poro ran her last race for South Plains College, and all in all, they did a great job and went out and ran as hard as they could possibly run."