LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams made the most of the sunshine Sunday afternoon, combining for 20 national qualifying marks at the South Plains College Indoor Invite #2 at the Texan Track and Field Complex.
The Texans and Lady Texans will return to the track on Monday afternoon for the SPC Indoor Invite #3 in Levelland, their final meet before the indoor national championships March 5-6.
"Our men's team competed well across the board," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "Coming off nearly 10 days not having our normal practice routine due to weather, I was happy with what we did. This is one of our last chances to get qualifying marks, and in some places we really needed it we got the job done."
Sophomore Tony McNeal picked up the first national mark for the Texans in the men's long, soaring 23' 5.5" to take first in the event. Romaine Beckford, the NJCAA leader in the men's high jump, took first Sunday with a clearance of 6' 11".
"Tony is a guy who has jumped well for us," Vance said. "He really started to come together near indoor nationals last year and was going in a good direction and then we got shut down. It took a while to kind of find the rhythm this year, and today was the first day we both felt he was in a good rhythm and was able to put a consistent series of jumps together."
On the track, Chris Robinson placed first for South Plains in the men's 60 hurdles, clocking an 8.12. In the men's 1000 meters, freshman Mehdi Yanouri was first in a time of 2:30.04. The Texans swept the top three spots in the men's 600 meters, as Issac Hastings took first in 1:19.56, while Khaleb McRae was second in 1:20.25, and Chris Robinson took third in 1:20.41.
Freshman Shevoie Reid took first for South Plains in the men's 400 meters clocking a 48.06. In the men's 200 meters, freshman Austin Cowans placed first with a time of 22.01.
On the women's side, freshman Joniar Thomas tallied the highest point total in the NJCAA in the women's pentathlon, taking first Sunday with 3291 total points. In the women's shot put, sophomore Genevieve Ige placed first with a throw of 40' 11".
"Joniar really had a great day today in the multi," Vance said. "This was her first ever college multi and she goes out and puts up the number one score in junior college. I thought she did a really good job and still has a lot of room for improvement, and she competed well today."
In the women's long jump, sophomore All-American Onaara Obamuwagun was first with a final mark of 19' 2". Dejah Fuller placed second in the women's long jump for South Plains with a mark of 17' 5.25". Sophomore Tia Harry was the first runner across the line in the women's 60 hurdles, posting an 8.90.
The Lady Texans went two-three in the 800 meters as Cemore Donald was second in 2:19.35, while Camille Lewis was third in 2:20.49. Anna Kay-Allen took first in the women's 400 meters for South Plains, crossing the line in 57.74.
"I was really proud of our women's 800 runners," Vance said. "They had some struggles and haven't had the best conditions this year coming into this meet, and today they just went out there and got it done and got qualified."
In the women's 200 meters, Rosemary Chukwuma took first with a 24.13, while Success Umukoro was second in 24.77. Chukwuma also notched a first place finish in the women's 60 meters, crossing the line in 7.50.