LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's cross country teams will return to action on Friday in Lubbock at the Texas Tech Open at the Chaparral Ridge Cross Country Course.
The men's 8k will get underway at 8:30 a.m., followed by the women's 5k at 9 a.m.
South Plains will look for a repeat performance following the Western Texas College Open on Sept. 8 in Snyder in which the Texans and Lady Texans each placed first overall, with the men's team earning a perfect score.
"We are excited to be able to run just 30 minutes from home, and it's one of two opportunities that we have this season that is close to us," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "I'm really looking forward to seeing what our kids do when they're put out in a bigger meet with more numbers and some high-level competition."
Led by freshman Alex Kitum, the Texans claimed the top five positions of the men's 8k with a final team average of 27:47:24. Kitum was the first runner across the finish line, clocking a time of 27:12 in his first collegiate appearance. Sophomore Filmon Beyene turned in a final time of 27:29 to take second, while sophomores Andrew Bosquez and Jessie Madrid placed third and fourth with times of 27:31 and 28:21, respectively. Kenya native Japhet Toroitich earned a fifth-place finish with a time of 28:24, while Erick Arambula turned in a time of 29:47, good enough for ninth.
"I liked the way our kids competed last week, and from top to bottom they all raced well," assistant coach Frank Barker said. "I like the way these kids are working together, and they're really getting some comradery and really starting to gel as a team.".
The Lady Texans were just as impressive as they placed six runners inside the top 10, taking first with a final team average of 21:56:12.
Gladys Jemaiyo led the orange and blue with a time of 19:48 as she took the top spot in her first outing for the Lady Texans. South Plains' Dorcus Ewoi turned in a time of 20:28 to take second overall, while Lynda Martinez placed sixth and Nyia Sena took seventh with times of 22:45 and 23:05, respectively. Rocio Ramirez earned an eighth place overall finish with a time of 23:35, while Plains, Texas native Angela Rodriguez crossed the finish line at 23:50, good enough for ninth as the Lady Texans finished with 18 team points.
Following the Texas Tech Open, South Plains will be back on the course on Friday, Sept. 28 in Hobbs as the New Mexico Junior College Invitational, followed by a home meet in Levelland at the South Plains College Open on Oct. 6.