LEVELLAND — Following a pair of third-place finishes a year ago at the NJCAA Indoor Track & Field National Championships, the South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams will be back on the track for the first time in nearly 10 months on Friday at the South Plains College Indoor Invite #1 at the Texan Track & Field Complex.
Action will get underway at 11 a.m. beginning with the men's and women's pole vault and men's and women's weight throw. Fans are welcome to attend and admission is free. The meet will cap off with the men's and women's 4x400 relay at roughly 3:30 p.m.
"Essentially I haven't been to a track meet since we stepped off the track last year at the indoor national meet in March, so I'm excited," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "It's been different for a while now, but we have a bunch of kids who are excited to compete and are looking forward to our home meet on Friday."
The Texans will welcome back a number of key pieces from last year's squad including Khaleb McRae who placed second a year ago at the national meet in the men's 400 meters. McRae posted a time of 47.40 in the 400 and was also apart of the Texans 4x400 relay team who placed fourth overall nationally. Romaine Beckford also returns for South Plains following a second-place national finish last season in the men's high jump, clearing 7' 0.5".
"We had a really good freshmen class both on the men's and women's side who are back this year," Vance said. "When you look at the men's side Khaleb McRae was runner up in the 400 primarily as a 400 hurdler, but really showed his ability to run the 400 indoors. Another guy who did some big things last season was Romaine Beckford who is primarily going to high jump for us this year and has looked really good in practice and is getting better all the time."
The Lady Texans will look to a number of returners to lead the way this season, including Onaara Obamuwagun who placed fifth nationally as a freshman in the women's long jump with a mark of 19' 2.75", and earned national champion honors in the women's triple jump, soaring 42' 0.75" at the national meet. Rosemary Chukwuma also returns for the Lady Texans following a freshman stint in which she placed third in the women's 200 meters at the national meet.
"The first person you have to look at is Onaara who was a triple jump national champion," Vance said. "She looks as good as ever and I don't think she stopped training since we went home just keeps getting better. We have a good sophomore core of kids who can really be contributors for us this year and be good leaders for our team."
Heat sheets for the meet can be found below, with a full recap and photos to be posted at spctexans.com following Friday's meet.