CANYON, TX — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams opened the outdoor season Friday at the WT Spring Break Classic on the campus of West Texas A&M University, with the Texans and Lady Texans combining for nine event titles.
"What I saw today was a lot of competitiveness and they got after it," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "We did some good things in the field events and need to continue to improve as the season continues. On the track, Rosemary ran well and our sprint relay ran well, and that's going to be one of the strengths of our team. Tia ran well in the hurdles and we are in a good spot on the women's side, and just need to continue to diversify and figure out where we can pick up some points and close the gap."
Sophomore All-American Rosemary Chukwuma kicked off the afternoon with a first place finish in the women's 100-meter dash, posting the top time in 11.42. Cemore Donald turned in the top time in the women's 400-meter dash, crossing the line in 56.72.
In the women's 100 meter hurdles, Tia Harry placed second with a time of 14.50. In the women's pole vault, Mackenzie Griffin took third for South Plains with a clearance of 10' 4". All-American Onaara Obamuwagun won the women's long jump with a mark of 19' 9.5", while Jonair Thomas was second with a jump of 19' 4.5". The Lady Texans closed out the meet with a first place finish in the 4x400 relay as Success Umukoro, Anna-Kay Allen, Jordan Brown, and Camille Lewis posted a time of 3:50.95.
Mehdi Yanouri picked up the first event title for the Texans in the men's 800 meters, crossing the line in 1:52.46. Yanouri would then win the men's 1500 meter run for South Plains with a time of 3:59.23. The Texans went one-two in the 400-meter hurdles as Chris Robinson was first in 51.62, while Khaleb McRae took second with a time of 51.67.
After a national runner-up finish in the pole vault at indoor nationals, Thomas Nieto won the pole vault event Friday with a clearance of 16' 10.75". The Texans capped the meet with a first place finish in the 4x400 relay as Robinson, Seydi Sall, Issac Hastings, and McRae posted the time time in 3:10.27.
"It's always interesting to see what happens at the outdoor opener, and you're not really trying to go out and get a bunch of personal best, but really trying to get back in the groove," Vance said. "We're trying to start to fine tune some things, and we're less than two months out from the outdoor championships, so we have to hit the ground running. I thought we had a lot of kids who did well, and Mehdi had a good day. Our sprint hurdlers did a good job, and Thomas had a good mark in the pole vault. On the men's side, I thought we did a good job all around."