by:JOSHUA RAMIREZ/Sports Editor
The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams were battling against tough competition at the National Junior College Athletic Association Region V championship.
The SPC men’s cross country team captured their second consecutive NJCAA Region V Championship in Roswell, New Mexico on Oct. 31.
The SPC men dominated the regional meet, with five runners placing in the top seven spots. They placed first overall with an overall team score of 19 points at the meet. Coming in15 points behind SPC was El Paso College with a team score of 34 points. Finishing in third was Ranger College with a team score of 63 points.
Sophomore Hassan Abdi ran hard, finishing the championship race in a time of 24:28 and placing first overall.
Finishing second overall at the meet, less that a minute behind Abdi, was fellow sophomore Kelvin Keter, who covered the 8,000-meter course in a time of 24:54
The next runner to complete the race for the Texans was Nicholas Rotich, who finished in a time of 25:07, placing third overall.
The fourth and fifth runners to score for the Texans were Jose Silva and Atem Akok, who posted times of 25:52 and 26:20, respectively, finishing sixth and seventh overall.
The Lady Texans performed well at the Region V Championships, finishing third overall in the team standings with 78 points.
Coming in first at the meet was El Paso College with 42 points overall. New Mexico Junior College finished second at the meet with a team score of 51 points.
Freshman Sasha-Gay Whyte was the first Lady Texan to cross the finish line, completing the five-kilometer race in a time of 19:17 and placing fifth overall.
The next SPC runner to score was sophomore Kassidi Jones, who posted a time of 20:14 and finished 11th overall.
Freshman Heather Maldonado finished 19th overall, covering the course in 21:12.
The final two runners to score for the SPC women were freshman Megan Kinsey and Mya Perez, who completed the race with times of 21:39 and 21:42, respectively, and finished 21st and 22nd overall.
The SPC men’s and women’s cross country teams were back in action on Nov. 7, competing in the NJCAA National Championship meet at Fort Dodge, Iowa. Results were not available at press time.
The SPC men’s and women’s cross country teams found that there is no place like home when competing in the South Plains College Invitational on Oct 24.
The men’s team placed first after sweeping the top five places in the 8,000-meter race for a perfect score of 15 points for the second consecutive week, while posting an overall time of 2:07:37.
McMurry College placed second, finishing with 61 points and a time of 2:21:17. The University of the Southwest finished third in the team standings with 79 points and an overall time of 2:36:44.
Abdi placed first place overall in the field of 39 runners, covering the course in a time of 24:15.09
The next Texan to finish the race was Keter with a time of 25:02.28, placing third behind unattached runner Nick Revera.
SPC took the next two spots, with Rotich finishing fourth overall with a time of 25:27.21, and Silva finishing fifth with a time of 26:11.49.
The final runner to cross the finish line for the Texans was Akok, who finished the course in a time of 26:41.47 and placed eighth overall.
In the women’s race, New Mexico Junior College placed first overall in the team standings with a score of 46 points and total time of 1:40:44.
The Lady Texans fought hard at home, finishing second overall in the team standings with a score of 58 points and a total time of 1:42:41.
McMurry finished third overall in the team standings with 61 points and a total time of 1:43:27.
Finishing first for the SPC women was Whyte, who completed the 5,000-meter course in a time of 19:19.51 and placed fourth overall.
The next runner to score was Jones, who finished in 20:09.9 and placed ninth overall.
The next two runners to cross the finish line for SPC were Maldonado and Kinsey, who finished the race in 20:33.21 and 21.:07.61, respectively, placing 13th and 20th overall.
The final runner to score for the Texans was Perez, who finished 21st overall with a time of 21:31.31.