by JOSHUA RAMIREZ//Sports Editor
The South Plains College men’s and women’s track teams posted more than 61 national qualifying marks in the opening weeks of the outdoor season.
The SPC track teams outran their competition at the ACU Kittley Invitational on April 9 in Abilene.
SPC entered the meet with 61 national qualifying marks following their performance to begin the season.
Sophomore Kelvin Keter had on of his best performances of the year, placing first in the 800 and 1,500 meters with times of 1:55.29 and 4:00.1, respectively.
Sophomore Hassan Abdi raced alongside Keter in the 1,500 meters before placing second with a time of 4:04.42.
Robert Dunning placed first overall in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.21, while DeVante Lacy placed first in the 400 meters with a time of 47.4.
Nicholas Rotich placed first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:45.51, and Kwaume McGee placed first in the high jump with a height of 6-6.75.
In the men’s 4×400 relay, Okeen Williams, Lacy, Dedrian Windham, and Cordell Richardson placed first with a time of 3:17.21.
The men swept the top three spots in the 5,000 meters behind the efforts of Jose Silva, Connor Hughes and Omero Rodriguez.
Silva took the top spot with a time of 15:44.09. Hughes was close behind in 16:06.3, and Rodriguez placed third with a time of 16:24.28.
The first-place finishes continued for the SPC women’s team as the Lady Texans dominated the competition at the ACU Invitational
Aaliyah Telesford posted two first-place finishes, placing first in the 100 and 200 meters with times of 11.71 and 24.79, respectively.
Medinah Spencer placed first in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 13.97.
Latriceia Smith placed first overall in the 800 meters with a time of 2:23.95, while Poro Gahekave placed first in the women’s 5,000 meters with a time of 19:34.38.
Telesford, Smith, Mauricia Prieto, and Deja Harrison posted a first-place finish in the 4×400 with a time of 3:46.04.
The Lady Texans won their second relay event behind the combined efforts of Alexis Hyshaw, Joi Gill, Spencer, and Telesford, placing first in the 4×100 with a time of 46.38.
The Lady Texans also finished the day with two first-place finishes in the discus and javelin.
Tasha Crosse placed first in the discus with a throw of 146-6, and Salena Orlenas placed first in javelin with a throw of 113-6.
SPC entered the second week of the outdoor season with 30 national qualifying marks.
The Texans competed in the 2016 Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays at the Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas on March 30.
Gabe Moore showed his versatility by competing in 11 events for the Texans (discus, javelin, decathlon, 110 hurdles, shot put, long jump, pole vault, 100 meters, high jump, 1500 meters, and 400 meters) and finished the day with eight top-10 finishes.
Moore’s top marks came in the discus with a throw of 136-2 placing him third overall, and in the javelin with a throw of 167-8, placing him fourth overall.
Along with his success in the throwing events, Moore place fifth in the 100 meters with a time of 10.92 and seventh in the decathlon with 7,039 points.
Abdi placed third in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:31.13.
Fabian Edoki had two top-10 finishes, taking the top spot in the triple jump with a leap of 51-7.25, and placed ninth in the long jump with a distance of 7.51 meters.
Keter performed well in the 1,500 meters, placing second with a time of 3:51.56.
Derric Monroe finished ninth in the long jump with a distance of 23 feet. Adrian Williams finished second overall in the javelin with a throw of 219-8.
Williams competed in the 400-meters hurdles, placing fifth overall with a time of 52.59.
The Lady Texans finished 11th in the 4×400 preliminaries behind the combined efforts of Spencer, Prieto, Saqukine Cameron, and Harrison, who posted a time of 3:47.86.
Telesford, Prieto, Gill, and Cameron finished 15th overall in the 4×100 meter preliminaries with a time of 46.32.
Felicia Frimpong finished 11th overall in the long jump with a leap of 16-4.5, and Spencer finished 18th overall in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:00.44.
SPC has racked up 61 national qualifying marks following performances at the 2016 Nike Clyde Littlefield Texans Relays.
The Texans kicked off the outdoor season on March 25 at the 2016 UTEP Springtime Invitational in El Paso, Texas.
Edoki placed first in the long jump with a distance of 26-3.75.
Moore posted three top-10 finishes in the pole vault, javelin, and discus. He finished third in the pole vault with a height of 14-7.25, second in the discus with a throw of 141-2, and third in the javelin with a throw 177-7.
Keter had two top-10 finishes, placing first in the 800 meters with a time of 1:55.43 and third in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:57.53.
Logan McBride competed in five events for the Texans (pole vault, 110 hurdles, javelin, discus, and the 100 meters), finishing the day with four top-10 finishes.
McBride’s best marks came in the pole vault, placing fourth overall with a height of 13-1.5, and in the javelin, placing fifth with a throw of 36.47.
Kwame McGee faired well in the triple jump and high jump, finishing the day with two top-three finishes.
McGee placed second in the triple jump with a distance of 43-7.75, and third in the high jump with a leap of 6-6.75.
The SPC women also competed well at the UTEP Springtime Invitational, racking up multiple top-10 finishes.
Morgan Hartsell placed second overall in the pole vault with a vault of 12’3.5”.
Anyi Garcias recorded two top-10 finishes with her performance in the triple jump and high jump events. Garcias placed fifth in the triple jump with a jump of 38-1.5 and eighth in the high jump with a height of 5-3.
Kionna Bradshaw placed third in the shot put with a throw of 44-6.75, and was ninth in the discus with a distance of 135-1.
Selena Orlenas placed fourth in the javelin with a throw of 38.89.
Harrison and Hairston each finished in the top five in their respective events. Harrison placed fourth in the 400 meters with a time of 56.39, and Hairston placed fourth in the high jump after clearing 5-5.
The Lady Texans’ A-squad for the 4×100 finished second with a time of 45.72 behind the four-women team of Alexis Hyshaw, Prieto, Hill, and Cameron. The B-squad, which consisted of Gill, Lewis, Brianna Jones, and Shirley Vunatup, placed fifth with a time of 47.46.
In the 4×400 relay Smith, B. Jones, Vunatup, and Sanders finished sixth place with a time of 4:07.28.