FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The string of solid performances continued for the South Plains College track teams as they completed the second and final day of competition at the Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center. Sophomore Keri Emanuel broke a school record for the second time in two days as she set a new SPC standard in the women's triple jump and the men's 4x400 relay just missed the school and NJCAA indoor national records in the collegiate invitational that can be seen on tape delay Sunday beginning at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN 2. Several others attained seasonal or personal best marks.
Emanuel has become accustomed to school records the last couple weeks; tying the triple jump record at last weeks Red Raider Open and then breaking the long jump mark yesterday. She made it fairly interesting today when she fouled her first two attempts. On what would have been her third and final attempt if she failed to record a mark, Emanuel soared to a leap of 41-feet, 1-inch to move into third place but eventually had to settle for fourth overall.
Emanuel broke the previous record of 40-07.50 that Colleen Felix set in 2009 and she tied last week.
"We came here with Keri to set the school record," said SPC Associate Head Track and Field Coach Blaine Wiley who accompanied the team to Fayetteville. "She used the facility to her advantage and competed really well and we are proud she broke the school record."
Victoria Flemons also had a good day in the triple jump, recording a season best of 40-00.50 to finish sixth in the championship section. Flemons finished just off her indoor career best of 40-04.00 attained last season.
The much anticipated men's Collegiate Invitational 4x400 relay lived up to its hype…and then some. Running with three freshmen and a sophomore and a best time of 3:08.25 in 2012, South Plains ran against the top two teams in NCAA division one in the University of Arkansas (3:06.03) and LSU (3:06.11).
Tyler Harper settled into the blocks and gave SPC a solid first leg of 46.95 to keep the Texans thoroughly in the mix. Alistair Moona battled hard as well, turning in a time of 46.17 to put Vernon Norwood right on the heels of LSU as Arkansas led the way. Norwood completed his leg in 46.45 seconds and when he handed the baton to Bralon Taplin there was some minor bumping that gave LSU a slight advantage. The lone sophomore of the group, Taplin powered past LSU coming off the final curve to help the Texans to a second place finish and a stellar time of 3:05.16 - the second fastest NJCAA time ever.
Arkansas won the event, improving their NCAA leading time to 3:03.76 and LSU was third in 3:05.41.
The only team to ever run a faster NJCAA time in the event was the SPC 4x400 relay at this meet last year that turned in a time of 3:05.14.
"It was just a great effort by the guys. For three freshmen and one sophomore to come out and run against the two best teams in division I and end up second and narrowly miss a school and national record is just a great way to cap a meet," said Wiley
"This is all new for us so it is a great experience for them to be able to run on a facility like this and compete well," said Wiley of the opportunity for the squad to run against an elite field at the Randal Tyson Track Center.
Running in the championship section of the men's mile, sophomore Kemoy Campbell blasted his career best by clocking a time of 4 minutes, 2.52 seconds. Campbell ran through the first 1,000-meters looking settled in the middle of the pack and did so right at 4-minute pace. The lead pack gapped him slightly after that, but he finished strong recording a seventh place finish in a race that was won in a blistering 3:58.68.
The quartet of Sparkle McKnight, Janeil Bellille, Amoy Blake, and Natoya Goule finished third overall in the women's 4x400 relay. McKnight led the Lady Texans off with a solid leg and Bellille followed with a sub 54-second clocking, handing the baton to Blake in third place. Blake then split 54.58 seconds and Goule closed with the second fastest split amongst the anchor legs to bring South Plains home in 3:36.80. The time is the quickest of the year for SPC and three of the legs - McKnight, Bellille, and Goule - are members of the school record 4x400 relay set last year.
For the third consecutive week K'Don Samuels challenged the SPC record in the pole vault. Samuels cleared his opening height of 16-07.75 on his third and final attempt to set up the opportunity to tie the school record at the next bar of 17-01 which he was unable to do.
In the men's 800-meter run, Kin Scott improved his indoor personal best by nearly 6-seconds when he crossed the line fourth in the third section and 18th overall with a time of 1:53.81. Shevaun Marsh also set a new career best as he finished second in the fourth section and 19th overall in 1:53.91.
Shavez Hart finished 11th in the men's 200 with a season best time of 21.37 seconds.
"I thought as a team we competed well. The women's 4x400 relay ran 3:36.80, which leads the NJCAA by 10-seconds and is the second fastest time in school history. Overall it was a really good trip. I think we accomplished some really good things and since we will not be competing at indoor nationals (next month) I was glad that we could come here and show everybody what we can do."
The Tyson Invitational wraps up the indoor season for the SPC track and field teams. However, they will be competing again next week as they will host a small field of teams February 18 at the Texan Track and Field complex in Levelland.
SPC Results - Day 2 Tyson Invitational
4x400 Relay - Men's Collegiate Invitational
2nd Harper, Moona 3:05.16
Triple Jump - Women's College
4th Keri Emanuel 41-01.00
Triple Jump - Women's Championship
6th Victoria Flemons 40-04.00
Pole Vault - Men's Championship
t-8th K'Don Samuels 16-07.25
Mile Run - Men's Championship
7th Kemoy Campbell 4:02.52
4x400 Relay - Women's College
3rd McKnight, Bellille, 3:36.80
800 M Run - Men's College
18th Kin Scott 1:53.81
19th Shevaun Marsh 1:53.91
28th Kourt'ney Payne 1:54.89
40th Julian Parker 1:56.71
200 M Run - Men's College
11th Shavez Hart 21.37
23rd Trevorvano Mackey 21.81