LEVELLAND—The South Plains College men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Las Vegas, New Mexico on Saturday to compete in the New Mexico Highlands Cross Country Jam.
The Texans enter Saturday as winners of their first two meets which earned them a No. 4 national ranking in the newly released USTFCCCA polls. Led by sophomore All-American Felix Kosgei, the Texans swept the top four spots a week ago in Snyder at the Western Texas College Open and will look for a similar performance come Saturday.
"Everyone has been quite jealous when I've told them we're going to Las Vegas this weekend until I throw the New Mexico part in, but what's going to be really nice is that they put on a good meet at New Mexico Highlands," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "We will get an opportunity to challenge ourselves against one of the better Div. II teams in the country, especially as far as men's cross country goes."
Following a second place finish in Snyder, the Lady Texans earned a No. 10 national ranking in the USTFCCCA polls. South Plains placed three runners inside the top five and four inside the top 10, and will look to carry that momentum into the weekend and continue to build on two impressive outings in the opening weeks of the season.
"This is going to be a great test for our top four women, simply because of who they will be running against," South Plains assistant coach Frank Barker said. "The reason I say top four is because we're going to be sitting one out this weekend to nurse a few injuries and just felt like this is the time to sit back and let her get well, and when the time comes she will be able to go."
Last time out:
The Texans concluded the men's 8k with an average team time of 27:34, sweeping the top four spots and placed six runners inside the top 10. Kosgei was the first runner to cross the finish line with a mark of 26:24, while Andrew Bosquez (27:25), Filmon Beyene (27:34) and Benjamin Rono (27:48) rounded out the top four positions.
The Lady Texans used an average team time of 21:52.6 in the women's 5k and placed four runners inside the top 10 to earn a second-place finish. Seselia Dala led the Lady Texans with a time of 20:39 to place third overall. Leslie Romero and Poro Gahekave finished fourth and fifth for South Plains with their times of 20:49 and 21:05, respectively. Caitlyn Mercer earned a 10th place finish with a time of 22:53.
Action will get underway on Saturday beginning with the women's 5k at 9:30 a.m., followed by the men's 8k at 10:00 a.m. Full results and a complete recap can be found shortly after the race by visiting spctexans.com.
South Plains head coach Erik Vance and assistant Frank Barker discussed Saturday's meet, which can be seen in the video below.