LEVELLAND—The South Plains college men's and women's track and field teams will travel to Hobbs, N.M. on Saturday to compete in the Ross Black Invitational on the campus of New Mexico Junior College.
The Texans enter the weekend ranked third in the country in the latest national rankings and have amassed 34 national qualifying marks to date. The Lady Texans come into the meet ranked fourth in the country and have compiled 36 national qualifying marks, and will look to add to that number come Saturday.
Last time out:
South Plains finished third overall in the men's and women's division at the Angelo State David Noble Relays.
Jordan Atkinson used a late surge in the men's 200-meter finals to take first overall with a time of 20.98 which earned the freshman from Amarillo a national qualifying mark and currently ranks as the ninth fastest time in the country. Felix Kosgei and Omero Rodriguez took the top two spots in the men's 800-meters with their times of 1:58.05 and 1:58.75, respectively. Kosgei also took first in the 1500-meters with a time of 3:58.95 earning the freshman from Kenya a national mark with the seventh fastest time in the NJCAA.
Jose Silva placed sixth in the men's 5000-meters with a time of 16:02.27 while Connor Hughes placed eighth with a time of 16:14.62. William Watson and Mason Weh placed second and third for the Texans in the 110-meter hurdles as Watson ran a 13.97, which ranks first in the NJCAA, while Weh finished with a time of 14.03 which ranks second in the country.
The Texans swept the top three positions in the men's 400 hurdles as Okeen Williams placed first with a time of 51.04, while Rayan Holmes posted the second fastest time in the NJCAA and took second with a time of 51.32. Watson posted the fourth fastest time in the country with his third place finish and final time of 52.24.
Nicholas Rotich took first in the men's 3000 steeplechase with a time of 10:06.15. Laquan Nairn continues to impress in the men's long jump as the freshman from the Bahamas soared 25' 5.25", good enough for second place overall. Saahir Bethea wasn't far behind with his third place finish and final mark of 24' 11.75". Patrick Johnson placed third for the Texans in the decathlon with a final point tally of 6025, while Jonathan Witt placed fifth with 5557 points and Zach Hancock placed sixth with 4743 points.
Mauricia Prieto and Omotayo Abolaji placed first and second for the Lady Texans in the 100-meters as Prieto posted the fastest time in the country with her mark of 11.44, while Abolaji finished with a time of 11.54 which ranks third in the NJCAA. In the women's 200-meters, Natassha McDonald posted the ninth fastest time in the country with her third place finish and final time of 23.95.
Latriceia Smith placed third for the Lady Texans in the 400-meters with a time of 57.12, while Ashley Hughes placed seventh in the 800-meters with a time of 2:32.51. In the women's 5000 steeplechase, Seselia Dala took second overall with a time of 18:45.96, while Caitlyn Mercer placed eighth with a time of 21:01.20.
Poro Gahekave dominated the women's 3000 steeplechase posting the fifth fastest time in the country with a time of 11:49.33, while the Lady Texans' 4x100 relay team comprised of Taylor Hill, Prieto, Bright and Abolaji took first overall with their time of 45.68. In the women's high jump competition, Naomi Kerari placed fifth after clearing 5' 3.25".
Cha'Kaylin Gilbert launched 19' 9" in the long jump to place fourth overall, followed by a fifth place finish in the triple jump with a mark of 39' 1.75". Kiona Bradshaw used a throw of 47' 9.25" to place third for the Lady Texans in the shot put, while Katelyn Clarkston placed first overall in the women's javelin with a final mark of 126' 4".
Following their trip to Hobbs, South Plains will be back on the road when they travel to Norman, Oklahoma for the John Jacobs Invitational on April 22, followed by a trip to Abilene for the ACU Twilight on April 28.