NORMAN, OKLAHOMA — With less than a month remaining until the 2016 NJCAA Outdoor national championships, the South Plains track and field teams were back on the road this weekend competing against some of the nation's elite at the John Jacobs Invitational on the campus of Oklahoma University.
Despite being one of the few junior college programs invited to compete, both teams continued to emerge as a favorite for yet another national crown come May. Houston native DeVante Lacy turned on the jets in the men's 400 meters, as the sophomore sprinter ran a 46.50 and took the top spot for South Plains.
The Texans' Robert Dunning and Okeen Williams both impressed in the 110 hurdles and the 400 hurdles, running times of 14.01 and 52.02, good enough for second in each event. Kelvin Keter was once again in championship form in the men's 3000 steeplechase, earning a national qualifying mark with a second place finish and final time of 9:12.36.
Fabian Edoki got the crowd onto their feet in the men's long jump competition, as the freshman from Nigeria soared 24' 11.25" for a first place finish for South Plains. Also placing in the top five in the men's long jump was Derrick Monroe, who went on to take fourth with a final distance of 24' 5". The Texans' Adrian Williams would then go on to take second and set a new school record in the men's javelin competition, as his final throw of 223' 9" put him into the school record books.
On the women's side, sophomore Mediah Spencer led the way for the Lady Texans in the 400 hurdles, as the sophomore form Baltimore, Maryland posted a national qualifying mark and earned third place honors with her time of 1:00.58. Freshman Mauricia Preito finished with two qualifying marks of her own in the women's 200 and 400 meters, as the Trinidad & Tobago native placed fifth and sixth in her respected events, finishing with final times of 24.27 and 55.57, respectively.
In the women's 100 meters, freshman Taylor Hill earned a national mark with her time of 12.07, good enough for seventh overall for the Houston, Texas product. Poro Gahekave also hit a national mark in the 3000 steeplechase with her sixth place finish and final time of 12:05.92. Freshman Melody Korie hit her qualifying mark in the women's long jump, as her final jump of 18' 8" was good enough for fifth.
In the women's triple jump competition, Anyi Garcias-Solis placed seventh and hit a national qualifying mark with her final jump of 37' 9.5, while Felicia Frimpong's jump of 37' 1.75" was good enough for ninth and earned the Ghana native a national mark. Finally, in the women's shot put competition, Kinonna Bradshaw went on to take sixth in the meet and earned herself a national mark with her final throw of 46' 6.25".
Following another successful outing from both teams, South Plains will be back on the road this week as they are set to travel to Abilene for the ACU Invitational beginning on Wednesday, April 27.