Tag: Cross Country

Women’s cross country team claims third meet title

by Kendall Rainer

The third-ranked South Plains College women’s cross country team continues to dominate, placing first at three out of their four meets they have competed in so far this season.

The Lady Texans earned their third meet title, while the Texans placed fourth, at the South Plains College Cross Country Invitational held on Oct. 5 at Brashear Lake Park in Levelland.

In the women’s 5-kilometer run, SPC finished with 39 points and a total team time of 1:37:56.10, and an average time of 19:35.22. New Mexico Junior College placed second in the meet with 41 points and an average time of 19:49.74. El Paso Community College placed third with 44 points and an average time of 19:56.34.

Sophomore Gladys Jemaiyo was the first Lady Texan to cross the finish line. She finished with a time of 18:04.90, good enough for second place overall. Freshman Daisy Kibet wasn’t far behind, placing fifth with a time of 18:58.80.WES_7291

Sophomore Dorcus Ewoi finished seventh with a time of 19:15.70. Sophomore Itzel Garcia-Santo finished 11th with a time of 20:36.30, while Nyia Sena finished 14th with a time of 21:00.40.

In the men’s 8-kilometer run, SPC placed fourth with 89 points and a total team time of 2:28:41.90, with an average of 29:44.38. El Paso Community College took the men’s title with 21 points and an average time of 26:10.26. New Mexico Junior College placed second with 50 points and an average time of 27:53.48, while Angelo State placed third with 87 points and an average time of 29:22.36.

Sophomore Alex Kitum placed fifth for the Texans with a time of 26:44.80, while freshman Adbrizak Ibrahim finished seventh with a time of 27:17.60.

Sophomore Yusuf Mohamud crossed the line at 29:48.50, finishing 24th overall. Freshman Ryan Robinson finished 27th with a time of 30:25:20.   

The Lady Texans placed first at the New Mexico Junior College Invitational held on Sept. 27 at McAdams Park in Hobbs, New Mexico.

SPC finished with an overall team score of 26 and an average team time of 19:24.04 in the 5-kilometer run. NMJC placed second with a score of 39, while Ranger College placed third.

Jemaiyo was the first Lady Texan to cross the finish line. She finished with a time of 18:04.14, good enough for second place. Kibet wasn’t too far behind, placing third with a time of 19:02.88, while Ewoi placed fourth with a time of 19:19.61.WES_7234.jpg

Garcia-Santos crossed the finish line at 20:13.24, good enough for an eighth-place finish. Sena followed by finishing ninth with a time of 20:20.29.

In the men’s 8-kilometer run, the Texans placed fourth overall in the team standings with a score of 103 and an average time of 28:12.96. NMJC placed first with a score of 47, followed by Ranger College in second and UT-Permian Basin in third.

Kitum placed first with a time of 24:53.71, while Ibrahim crossed the line in second place with a time of 25:06.98. Robinson finished 26th with a time of 27:51.78.

Women’s cross country team opens season with two impressive showings

by Kendall Rainer

The South Plains College women’s cross country team opened the 2019 season by placing first and second at their first two meets.

The Lady Texans placed second at the Texas Tech Cross Country Classic, while the Texans placed ninth.

The meet was held Sept. 21 at the Lubbock Christian University Golf Course.

In the women’s 5-kilometer run, SPC finished with a total team time of 1:37:07, and an average time of 19:25.38. Texas Tech placed first with an average time of 18:53.32.

Sophomore All-American Gladys Jemaiyo placed second with a time of 18:07.60. Freshman Daisy Kibet was the next Lady Texan to cross the finish line with a time of 18:26.80. Her time was good enough for fourth place.WES_5532

  Sophomore Dorcus Ewoi placed sixth with a time of 18:43.10. Sophomore Itzel Garcia-Santos finished 32nd with a time of 20:36.90.

In the men’s 8-kilometer run, the Texans finished with an overall team time of 2:31:20, and an average of 30:16.16.

Freshman Abdirizak Ibrahim was the first runner across the line for SPC, as he finished 11th overall with a time of 27:00.40. Sophomore Alex Kitum finished 19th with a time of 27:25.20.

Freshman Ryan Robinson finished 51st with a time of 29:35.70, while sophomore Yusuf Mohamud finished with a time of 31:10.60 in 72nd place. Freshman Alejandro Morales finished 92nd after crossing the finish line at 36:08.90.WES_5477

The SPC women’s cross country team placed first in the opening meet of the 2019 cross country season, which was held Sept. 14 at Western Texas College in Snyder.

In the women’s 5-kilometer race, SPC finished with 26 points and a total time of 1:41:42.23, with an average time of 20:20.45. New Mexico Junior College placed second in the team standings with an average of 20:44.27, while Ranger College placed third with an average time of 23:23.91

Jemaiyo was the first Lady Texan across the finish line, placing second with a time of 19:13.92. Kibet wasn’t far behind with a time of 19:41.79, good enough for third place. Ewoi was the fourth runner to cross the line with a time of 20:10:37.

Garcia-Santos placed seventh with a time of 21:08.64. Sophomore Nya Sena finished with a time of 21:27.51, good enough for 11th place. Sophomore Angela Rodriquez finished 14th with a time of 22:16.69.   

The men’s cross country team was unable to place in the team standings, as they only competed with four runners.

Kitum placed third in the men’s 8-kilometer run with a time of 27:18.59. Ibrahim was on Kitum’s heels, crossing the line just a second after him at 27:19.49, and finishing fourth

The SPC men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the New Mexico Junior College Open which was held on Sept. 27 in Hobbs, New Mexico. Results were not available at press time.

Jemaiyo captures NJCAA Half Marathon National Championship

The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams placed in the top 10 at the 2018 NJCAA Cross Country National Championships.

The meet was held at Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas, on Nov. 10.

The Lady Texans placed fifth with a total of 207 points and an average time of 20:28. Freshman Gladys Jemaiyo placed second in the women’s 5-kilometer race, finishing with a time of 18:43. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi finished 16th with a time of 19:45.3, while Angela Rodriguez finished 38th and earned All-American honors for her effort.

Erik Vance, head track and field coach at SPC, said, “I thought the women’s team performed great at the Cross Country Championships.”

Iowa Central won the women’s division with 45 points. El Paso Community College placed second with 70 points, followed by Southern Idaho with 100 points and Cowley County with 138 points.

The Texans finished ninth with 239 points and an average time of 27:30. Sophomore Filmon Beyene placed sixth with a time of 26:02.2 in the men’s 8-kilometer race. Sophomore Andrew Bosquez finished 13th with a time of 26:29.5, while sophomore Jesse Madrid finished 38th with a time of 27:27.7.

Alex Kitum finished 146th with a time of 29:38.8 and Ulises Cardoza finished 159th with a time of 29:50.7.

“On the men’s side, we had some stellar performances,” said Vance.

Cross Country tams place second at NJCAA Region V Championship

The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams both placed second at the NJCAA Region V Cross Country Championship.

The meet was held Oct. 27 at Ranger Community College in Ranger.

In the men’s 8-kilometer race, sophomore Filmon Beyene placed third, clocking a time of 26:08. Sophomore Andrew Bosquez placed sixth with a time of 27:20.2.

Alex Kitum and Jesse Madrid placed ninth and 10th, respectively. Kitum clocked a time of 27:42.8, while Madrid posted a time of 27:55.5.

The Texans posted a total team time of 1:41:26, with an average of 20:17, good enough for second place. El Paso Community College placed first with a total time of 2:13:43, averaging 26.44.

In the women’s 5-kilometer race, freshman Gladys Jemaiyo placed second with a time of 18:16.5. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi placed fourth with a time of 19:10.9.

Freshman Angela Rodriguez finished 11th with a time of 21:00.6. Not far behind was freshman Nyia Sena in 13th with a time of 21:12.2.

The cross country teams traveled to Garden City, Kansas for the NJCAA National Championship at Garden City Community College on Nov. 10. Results were not available at press time.   

Cross Country teams post impressive times at SPC Open

The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams put on an impressive performance at the SPC Open.

The meet was held on Oct. 6 at Brasher Lake in Levelland. The Texans tied for first place in the team results with West Texas A&M, among the 22 teams that participated.

The Texans placed 10 runners among the top 10 finishers in the eight-kilometer race. Sophomore Andrew Bosquez was the first across the finish line, posting a time of 26:00.00. Freshman Japhet Toroitich placed second with a time of 26.01.90.

Sophomore Filmon Beyene placed fifth, posting a time of 26:15.40. Jesse Madrid wasn’t far behind, finishing eighth with a time of 26:51.60.

“I thought both the men and women performed well this past weekend,” said Erik Vance head track and field coach at SPC. “They continue to push each other and run tough week in and week out.”

img_1060.jpgFor the Lady Texans, freshman Gladys Jemaiyo placed second overall, posting a time of 18:20.40. Dorcus Ewoi placed third with a time of 19:04.00, while freshman Angela Rodriguez placed 18th overall, posting a time of 20:40.50.   

“You just try to continue to improve your conditioning and adapt to situations in a race,” Vance added. “At this point, we are just focused on continuing to improve our fitness and making sure our squad is healthy heading into the Regional championships at Ranger

 

and Nationals a month from now.”

The teams also competed at the New Mexico Junior College Open at Harry McAdams Park on Sept. 28.

The Texans placed first with an average time of 22:13.04, with four runners finishing in the top seven spots.

Bosquez placed first with a time of 21:35.39. Beyene placed fifth with a time of 21:59.76, followed by Toroitich in sixth with a time of 22:12.43, and Madrid in seventh with a time of 22:18.39.

The Lady Texans placed third overall with a team average of 20:29.84. Jemaiyo placed second, posting a time of 18:03.75. Ewoi finished seventh with a time of 19:12.79, and Rodriguez finished 18th with a time of 20:42.55.

Cross country teams record impressive times at TTU open

The South Plains College men’s and women’s Cross Country teams continued to perform well in their second meet of the season.WES_0897

The Texas Tech Open was held on Sept. 14 at the Chaparral Ridge cross country course in Lubbock.

The Texans placed second overall with 49 points and an average team time of 27:07:96. The meet was held at the Chaparral Ridge cross country course.

In the men’s eight-kilometer race, freshman Japhet Toroitch placed third with a time of 26:30. Sophomore Filmon Beyene and sophomore Andrew Bosquez were the next two runners across the finish line, placing fourth and fifth, respectively. Beyene posted a time of 26:35:50, while Bosquez posted a time of 26:38:70.  Sophomore Jessie Madrid finished 12th with a time of 27:20:40.

In the women’s five-kilometer race, freshman Gladys Jemaiyo placed first with a time of 17:56:50. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi placed fifth with a time of 18:30:50.

The Lady Texans placed fourth overall in the meet with an average team time of 19:40.

The Texans and Lady Texans returned to action on Sept. 28 at the New Mexico Junior College Invitational in Hobbs, New Mexico. Results were not available at press time.

Cross Country teams sweep top spots at Western Texas Open

The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams started the season in stride, sweeping the top places at the Western Texas College Open.

Dorcas Ewoi
Dorcas Ewoi competing in the women’s race on Sept. 8.

The Texans and Lady Texans competed in Snyder, Texas on Sept. 8.

In the men’s race, freshman Alex Kitum led the Texans and placed first, covering the 8-kilometer course in 27:12. Sophomore Filmon Beyene wasn’t far behind, placing second with a time of 27:29.

Sophomore Andrew Bosquez placed third with a time 27:31, while sophomore Jessie Madrid placed fourth with a time of 28:21. Sophomore Erick Arambula finished ninth with a time of 29:47. The Texans posted a final team average of 27:47:24.

In the women’s race, freshman Gladys Jemaiyo placed first after completing the 5-kilometer course in 19:48. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi placed second with a time of 20:28, while  freshman Lynda Martinez placed sixth with a time of 22:45. Freshman Nyia Sena finished seventh with a time of 23:05.

Freshman Rocio Ramirez finished eighth with a time of 23:35, and freshman Angela Rodriguez finished ninth with a time of 23:50. The Lady Texans recorded a team average of 21:56:12.

Both teams returned to action on Sept. 14, competing at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Results were not available at press time.     

Romero finds new home with track, cross country teams

Talents are usually discovered by not looking for them. For Leslie Romero, her talent for running was discovered unexpectedly.

A Houston native, Romero went to Memorial High School before making the transition to Levelland to compete for the cross country and track teams at South Plains College.

“I started running in middle school,” Romero recalls, “and actually the reason why I started was because I didn’t make any of the other sports teams. Cross country is a no-cut sport, so that’s how I started. It wasn’t until eighth grade that I started noticing I had a talent for running.”

Romero went to a 6A school, which she says helped her experiences as a runner.

“I’ve always had good competition with competing and stuff,” says Romero. “My coach was also a very good coach, so that was nice to have.”

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Initially, SPC wasn’t Romero’s first choice for attending college. She planned on going to Stephen F. Austin, but her plans changed.

“My high school was academically challenged, so we had some issues getting me eligible for school,” explains Romero. “My high school coach told me she found another home for me. If I was going to go to a junior college, then South Plains College was the best place to go.”

Romero came to Levelland to visit the campus, and she enjoyed it. She moved and enrolled at SPC in the fall of 2016. She is currently majoring in physical therapy.

“I like to help people,” says Romero. “I’m looking toward more sports physical therapy areas, and I still want to be involved in sports because I understand being an athlete and how you get hurt while being an athlete.”

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Leslie Romero, a physical therapy major, finishes running at the cross country meet in Levelland on Oct. 7. DOM PUENTE/PLAINSMAN PRESS

During her time at SPC, Romero is involved with the cross country and track teams. During track season, she runs the 1,600-meter race and the 3k for indoor track. For outdoor running events, she runs the 1,500-meter race and the steeple chase.

“I haven’t tried the 10k because I’ve been running the steeple, and that’s the first time I’ve tried it out,” explains Romero, “so the coaches and myself are trying to get me used to that.”

During the New Mexico Highlands Cross Country Jam in Las Vegas, N.M, Romero received her first collegiate victory the women’s cross country event.

“After that meet, I’ve been placing second,” says Romero. “It feels good to receive first place. It makes me want to go out there and win another meet. It’s nice to have that boost of confidence.”

Romero explains the more experienced she is with running events, her nerves don’t get to her.

“Honestly, I’ve been running for years, and I don’t get nervous anymore,” says Romero. “For cross country, I don’t get nervous at all actually. I just think in my head I’m about to race. A lot of people ask me, though, what I’m thinking about when I’m about to race, and I think about how fast I’m going and the people in front of me. I think about pacing myself and try to control my pace.”

According to Romero, being the number one girl for cross country is different for her, and it’s not something that she’s used to.

“I feel like it’s definitely something to look forward to,” explains Romero. “You’re not always going to be in that one spot, and people hold themselves back mentally, and then it becomes physically. Once you get out of that mindset, you can do greater things.”

The SPC running teams have different sets of workouts when practicing for their meets. Romero explains they have track workouts and long runs.

“When we do long runs, we run out towards where the cotton fields are,” says Romero. “It’s just a straight gravel road, and it’s 23 miles. We don’t go down that far, but that is where we do our long runs and tempo runs. Usually we have long runner minute runs, and then we have our track workouts.”

Romero plans to graduate next spring and wants to continue her running career.

“I’m actually visiting schools right now, and I’m not leaning towards a specific school yet,” says Romero. “I think where the university is located is a big thing for me, because you know how West Texas is a small-town type area and I’m from Houston. I like the bigger city atmosphere.”

Romero says her time at SPC has been enjoyable. When she leaves, she’s going to miss the people she has met during the semesters the most.

“I’m definitely going to miss the team and the coaches,” explains Romero. “I think SPC has a lot of culture, because the team is from everywhere around the world, and it’s nice coming out here and meeting them. You learn how they live and different things that they do. My roommate is from Papua, New Guinea and I love her. She’s so sweet, and her accent and everything is cool to me. I’m going to miss the people here for sure.”

Cross country teams finish regular season with impressive times

The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams continue to show their talent, winning their fifth consecutive meet.

The nationally-ranked Texans and Lady Texans finished the regular season on Oct. 7, with impressive performances at home in the South Plains College Open at Brasher Lake in Levelland.

“Both the men and women’s team competed well at home for us,” said Frank Barker, head cross country coach and assistant track coach at SPC. “We came out of the meet with a few of our runners banged up, but everyone should be healthy when our regional meet comes up.”

The Texans, ranked No. 3 in the national polls, placed first as a team, with four runners finishing in the top 10 and posting an average time of 26:26.26. The men’s team has won five consecutive meets heading into post-season competition.

Sophomore All-American Felix Kosgei set a course record with a time of 25:24.80 in the men’s 8k race, placing first.

Freshman Andrew Bosquez placed second for SPC with a time of 25:52.90, while Filmon Beyene placed fourth with a time of 26:13.50. Freshman Jesse Madrid placed ninth with a time of 27:09.10.

 

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The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams finished their regular season with a meet on Oct. 7 in Levelland. DOM PUENTE/PLAINSMAN PRESS

 

Freshman Benjamin Rono finished 16th for SPC, posting a time of 27:31.00. Sophomore Michel Leobardo posted a time of 28:17.90, finishing 31st, while Erick Arambula finished 36th with a time of 28:42.60. Freshman Ulises Cardoza finished 48th with a time of 29:25.30, and sophomore Dekaryea Freeman finished 66th overall with a time of 31:18.55.

“With a core mainly consisting of freshmen, I think we have gained a lot of maturity since the beginning of the season, along with the help of our sophomores like Kosgei and Leobardo,” said Coach Barker.

Ranked No. 12 in the national polls, the Lady Texans placed second as a team in the women’s 3k race with an average time of 20:05.82.

“On the women’s side, our top four girls are doing very well, and having that sophomore experience is helping them compete,” explained Coach Barker.

Leading the Lady Texans was sophomore Leslie Romero, who placed third overall and second among college runners with a time of 18:35.70.  Placing sixth for SPC was sophomore Seselia Dala with a time of 19:15.10, while sophomore Poro Gahekave placed ninth with a time of 19:47.30.

Caitlyn Mercer, a sophomore and Lubbock native, finished 23rd with a time of 20:39.00. Sophomore Agnes Abrocquah posted a time of 22:12.00, finishing 46th overall, while freshman Janeil Moore finished 67th with a time of 25:01.20.

“I tell our runners that going into meets they have to have the attitude that other teams have to beat us in order to set ourselves up for success, and I feel they are accomplishing that,” explained Coach Barker.

Both the men’s and women’s teams swept first place overall at the New Mexico Junior College Invitational at Harry McAdams Park on Sept. 29 in Hobbs, N.M.

Six Texans placed in the top 10, with Kosgei placing first with a time of 24:20.27. Bosquez placed second with a time of 24:41.09. Beyene placed fourth, posting a time of 25:01.09. Arambula placed fifth with a time of 25:13.50, and Ronoh placed seventh with a time of 25:49.55. Madrid posted a time of 26:04.16, finishing ninth for the Texans.

Also competing for the SPC men was Leobardo, who finished 20th with a time of 27:18.41, while Cardoza finished 28th after posting a time of 27:50.60. Freeman posted a time of 29:36.16, finishing 46th overall.

The Lady Texans finished the meet with three in the top 10 to place first overall. Romero placed second with a time of 18:29.75, and Dala posted a time of 19:16.30 to place third. Gahekave placed fifth with a time of 19:36.29.

Mercer finished 11th with a time of 20:27.73, and Abrocquah finish 32nd with a time of 22:32.75. Moore posted a time of 25:22.20, finishing 46th.

Cross Country teams post impressive times in two meets

by DOM PUENTE//Staff Writer

 

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Lady Texan Caitlyn Mercer finished 11th in the New Mexico Highlands Cross Country Jam in Portales, N.M., on Sept 20. DOM PUENTE/PLAINSMAN PRESS

 

Experience has been the key to success for South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams in the beginning of the season.

Dominating their opponents has become the type of culture for SPC, as both teams secured their third consecutive first-place finish Sept. 23 at the New Mexico Highlands Cross Country Jam in Las Vegas, N.M.

“Both of our teams ran exceptionally well at a great course,” said Erik Vance, head track and field coach at SPC. “Our times were impressive, considering the difficulty of the course, and I feel that our men showed what they are made of, putting up good times.”

Leading the men’s team was sophomore Felix Kosegi, who posted his third top finish in the men’s 8k race with a time of 24:36.

“Felix has continued to stay in his role, lead the team and win meets being aggressive in his running style and technique,” added Coach Vance. “He was close to breaking under 24 minutes with his time, and to even be close to that is an impressive thing in the men’s 8k.”

The Texans, ranked No. 4 in the most recent national rankings, had four runners place in the top five, while six finished in the top 10.

Freshman Andrew Bosquez placed second with a time of 25:10, while Filmon Beyene placed third with a time of 25:17.

Freshman Benjamin Rono placed fifth with a time of 26:00, while Jesse Madrid and Erick Arambula placed sixth and seventh, respectively, with times of 26:10 and 26:14.

Sitting at No. 10 nationally, the Lady Texans swept the top three spots, with all four runners finishing in the top 11. However, due to only racing four, the Lady Texans were unable to place in the final team results.

“Same story goes for our girls,” Coach Vance said. “They ran very well on a tough course. We rested a girl or two in order to keep our runners healthy. I believe if we had our fifth runner we could have secured our second first-place finish to start the season.”

Sophomore Leslie Romero earned her first collegiate victory in the women’s 5k with a time of 19:09. Placing second was sophomore Poro Gahekave with a time of 19:40, while Seselia Dala placed third with a time of 19:47. Sophomore Caitlyn Mercer, a Lubbock product, finished 11th with a time of 25:52.

“I was very proud of Romero getting her first collegiate win after being able to make a good move and keep her lead,” explained Coach Vance.

Both SPC teams dominated the previous meet at the Western Texas College Open on Sept. 16 in Snyder.

“Our guys ran well for it being a tough course with the different hills and it being wild country up there,” said Coach Vance. “If you compared our returners’ times from last year to this year, they significantly improved overall.”

The Texans placed first in the men’s team competition, with Kosegi leading the charge and placing first individually with a time of 26:24.

While sweeping the top four spots, the Texans placed six runners in the top 10, averaging a team time of 27:34.

Bosquez placed second with a time of 27:25. Beyene placed third with a time of 27:34, while Rono placed fourth with a time of 27:48.

The Lady Texans continued their impressive performance by placing second as a team with an average time of 21:52.6 in the women’s 5k.

“On the women’s side of the race, I thought we competed well against a tough team in ENMU, which we see day in and day out,” Coach Vance said. “I was really excited that our team competed hard with such a great group as them and taking it down to the wire and fall short in the tiebreaker.”

Dala paced the Lady Texans, placing third with a time of 20:39. Romero placed fourth with a time of 20:49, and Gahekave placed fifth with a time of 21:05. Mercer finished 10th with a time of 22:53, and Agnes Abrocquah finished 13th with a time of 23:57.

The Texans and Lady Texans will host the South Plains College Open on Oct. 7 in Levelland.

Cross Country teams begin season with dominant performance

by DOM PUENTE//Staff Writer

Felix Kosegi

The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams began the 2017 season with an impressive outing at the Texas Tech Open.

Erik Vance, head track and field coach at SPC, expressed his happiness to see how well his runners for both the men and women competed.

“Overall, I thought both teams did great to start the season,” Coach Vance said. “Our runners showed that they can compete with just about anyone as long as they continue to get better from here.”

Sophomore All-American Felix Kosegi, who is returning for his final season, led the Texans to a first-place finish with a time of 25:02.50 in the men’s 8k race, which was held Sept. 9 at Chapparal Ridge Golf Course in Lubbock.

“Felix is one of the top runners in college,” explained Coach Vance, “and he showed it pushing a professional athlete toward the end of the meet to finish second, yet finished first collegiately.”

Andrew Bosquez placed fifth for the Texans with a time of 25:57.10, while Benjamin Ronoh finished 18th with a time of 26:48.10.

Also competing for the Texans were Eric Arambula, who finished with a time of 27:52.40, Leobardo Michel, who finished with a time of 28:15.70, Jesse Madrid, who posted a time of 28:34.50 and Ulises Cardoza, who posted a time of 29:00.40.

“As for our freshmen runners, I thought they stepped up and performed well, along with our other returning sophomore Leobardo, who improved significantly from where he started last year,” said Coach Vance.

As a team, the Texans finished with 52 total team points, with an average team time of 26:47.16.

In the women’s competition, SPC placed fifth in the 5k race with an average time of 20:26.42 and a total of 116 points.

“I thought our girls competed well,” Coach Vance said. “The course seemed to be a little tougher on the women than the men, but they stepped up and put up solid times.”

Sophomore Seselia Dala finished 11th overall with a time of 19:00.50, and sophomore Leslie Romero finished 17th with a time of 19:21.70 out of 100 runners.

Also competing for the Lady Texans were sophomore Poro Gahekave, who finished with a time of 19:56.90, sophomore Caitlyn Mercer, who finished with a time of 20:47.00, and Agnes Abrocquah, who finished with a time of 23:06.00.

For the Texans and the Lady Texans, both teams will be looking to top their impressive 2016 season, which was capped by a pair of top 10 finishes at the NJCAA national meet.

Coach Vance explained that the goal is to be better every season. But with the amount of success achieved last season, winning nearly every meet except for nationals, it can be difficult.

“After seeing the guys compete the way they did this week, it has shown me that we can hit the ground running and move up to the second or third position in nationals,” explained Coach Vance.

The Texans will be competing this season with the task of defending their NJCAA Region V Championship from last season. That goal is more than possible with Kosegi as their top runner and an All-American a year ago. Kosegi led SPC to a third-place finish at the 2016 Cross Country National Championships in El Dorado, Kansas.

Competing against 298 runners, Kosegi placed fifth last year at the national meet with a time of 24:51.09. The Kenya native will lead the charge in hopes of bringing a national title back to SPC.

As for the Lady Texan cross country team, SPC is fortunate to have multiple veteran All-American returners in Dala, Romero and Gahekave.

“On the girls side, I feel that we need to be able to repeat what we did last year,” Coach Vance said, “and give our girls a chance to bump up a few spots in the national meet and possibly take a home a national title for the women as well.”

Experience will be a strength, as Dala placed 10th last year at the national meet as a freshman, while Romero finished 14th and Gahekave finished 22nd out of 313 runners.

Both men and women’s cross country teams will go on the road to compete in the New Mexico Highlands meet on Sept. 23.

[Photos by DOM PUENTE/PLAINSMAN PRESS]