Levelland — With 49 national qualifying marks after two meets, the South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams return to the track this weekend in Fayetteville at the Tyson Invitational Feb. 8-9 at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
South Plains will be the sole junior college represented competing against the likes of Arkansas, Texas, Florida State, Auburn, LSU, Baylor, and Missouri, amongst others.
"We're taking a smaller group this weekend and looking for our runners and jumpers to compete against some really good competition," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "There will be some high-quality teams there and smaller fields which help us concentrate on what we're trying to do. This week is more about trying to get some of our top individuals competing against a really good field and push themselves a little bit more."
The Tyson Invitational will be streaming live on the WatchESPN platform via the SEC+ network, and the links can be found below. Live results will be provided by flashresults.com and can be accessed at the link below.
Watch live: SEC+ (Feb. 9, 4:30 p.m. CT): http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/3282090/tyson-invitational
Watch live: SEC+ (Feb. 10, 1 p.m. CT): http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/3282089/tyson-invitational
Last time out:
Leading after day one, Sophomore Asani Hylton wrapped up the heptathlon with 5136 points to take first overall. Following first place finishes in the 60 meters, long jump, and high jump on Friday, Hylton opened day two with a second place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking a time of 8.56. Hylton would then take fourth in the pole vault with a clearance of 12' 1.5", and second in the 1000 meters with a time of 2:53.44.
South Plains sophomore Bryson DeBerry captured the Texans second event title, taking first in the men's high jump with a mark of 6' 10.75". Freshman Devaughn Whymns claimed a sixth place overall finish in the men's long jump, soaring 23' 7.5". D'Juan Martin also placed in the top 10 in the long jump for South Plains, turning in a final mark of 23' 1.25".
Whymns would turn in his second top 10 finish of the day in the men's 60-meter hurdles, crossing the line at 8.11, good enough for seventh overall. In the men's 400 meters, freshman Moitalei Mpoke placed ninth for South Plains with a time of 48.16. The Texans ended the weekend with a seventh-place finish in the men's 4x400 relay as Willari Watson, Adrese Atkins, Mpoke, and Noel Hewitt ran a 3:16.43.
A day after breaking the women's indoor 5000-meter national record, South Plains freshman Gladys Jemaiyo placed third in the women's 3000 meters, finishing in 9:54.13. Jemaiyo broke the 5000-meter record by over four seconds, previously held by Iowa Central's Leanne Pompeani who clocked a time of 16:55.62 in 2016. A long distance specialist from Kenya, Jemaiyo placed third overall on Friday competing against the likes of Texas A&M, the University of Texas and the University of Houston.
School record holder Ruth Usoro was her usual self in the women's long jump, turning in a final mark of 18' 9.25" to take fifth overall. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi claimed a pair of top 20 finishes in the women's mile run and 3000 meters, running a 5:07.26 in the mile and 10:40.98 in the 3000 meters for the Lady Texans.
The Texans were represented well in the men's 5000 meters, as freshman Alex Kitum turned in a time of 15:24.86, good enough for sixth, while sophomore Filmon Beyene crossed the line at 15:35.14, placing eighth overall. South Plains' Rylan Olguin placed seventh in the men's 60-meter finals, notching a time of 7.49.
South Plains sophomore standout Asani Hylton leads the heptathlon after four events with 3025 points. Hylton placed first in the 60 meters with a 7.18, took the top spot in the long jump with a mark of 22' 11.25", and also placed first in the high jump, clearing 6' 8.25". The men's heptathlon will continue on Saturday beginning with the 60-meter hurdles at 10:30