by: JOSHUA RAMIREZ/Sports Editor
The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams picked up were they left off in 2014, kicking off their season with a victory at the Bill Libby Invitational meet in Abilene.
The SPC men’s cross country team didn’t miss a step in their first race of the season on Sept. 5, as the Texans took five of the top 10 spots and placed first overall in the team standings with a team score of 31 points and a combined time 1:19:40.78.
Coming in second, was Texas Wesleyan, finishing a staggering 36 points behind SPC. With a score of 67 points and a time of 1:22:08.
Finishing in third place was Ranger Community College with a team score of 93 points in 1:24:04.80.
Sophomore Hassan Abdi was back in perfect form, leading the Texans on the 5,000-meter course in just 15:30:78 and placing first overall.
The next Texan to cross the finish line was freshman Nicholas Ritich. Ritich finished the race only seconds behind Abdi, posting a time of 15:49:79, and finishing sixth overall. The next two runner to score for the Texans were sophomore Kelvin Keter and freshman Jose Silva, who finished the course with times of 16:01:45 and 16:03:79, respectively, and seventh and eighth overall.
The final runner to score for the Texans was Deric Martinez, who finished ninth overall with a time of 16:14:97.
Abelene Christian dominated the woman’s race, taking the top five places and giving them a perfect score of 15 points in the race. Angelo State and Texas Wesleyan finished second and third overall with 75 and 98 points, respectively.
The Lady Texans finished with a final team score of 174 points, which was good for sixth place overall in the team standings.
Sophomore Kassidi Jones was the first Lady Texan to finish the race, posting a time of 21:25:14 and placing 26th overall.
The next runner to cross the finish line for the SPC women’s team was freshman Heather Maldonado, who ran the course in 22:17:36 and finished 34th overall.
Just seconds behind Maldonado were fellow freshmen Mya Perez and Megan Kinsey, who posted times of 22:23:60 and 23:37:02, respectively, and finished 36th and 39th overall.
The last Lady Texan to finish the race was freshman Sasha-Gaye Whyte with a time of 23:02:47.
The SPC cross-country teams will return to Abilene on Sept. 18 for The ACU Invitational.