*Denotes national qualifying mark
FAYETTEVILLE — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams recorded 23 national qualifying marks over the weekend at the 2019 Tyson Invitational at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas.
Ranked third in the latest USTFCCCA national poll, the Texans picked up their first top 10 finish on the weekend in the men's mile run as sophomore Filmon Beyene posted a 4:30.85, placing 10th overall. Devaughn Whymns and Deion Lightfoot each posted national qualifying marks in the men's 60 hurdles, with Whymns clocking an 8.09, while Lightfoot crossed the line an 8.19.
In the men's pole vault, freshman Rylan Olguin hit a national mark on the third bar, clearing 16' 0" on his third attempt. Freshman Moitalel Mpoke earned a national mark in the men's 400 meters in a time of 48.31, while freshman Yusuf Mohammed hit a national mark in the men's 800 with a time of 1:57.67.
"Rylan is training to be a multi-athlete and is someone who always wants to learn and get better," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "He's always pushing forward and to get out there and PR in only is second vault is something we're really excited about. He struggled a little bit early and started to get things rolling and got a big bar and a top mark so far this year."
Coming in at No. 9 in the USTFCCCA week three national poll, the Lady Texans placed a pair of runners in the top 10 in the women's mile run. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi posted a 5:02.31* to take fourth overall while reigning National Athlete of the Week Gladys Jemaiyo ran a 5:04.03*, good enough for sixth.
"Those two girls just tore it up again," Vance said. "It doesn't matter what race we put them in, they're going to go out and get towards the front and try to win it. They went out aggressive and just continue to impress and continue to get better every time out. I'm excited about where they're at and they're going to be tough to beat come nationals."
Sophomore Ruth Usoro earned her second top 10 finish in as many weeks in the women's long jump, soaring 19' 6" on her second attempt, finishing sixth on the weekend. In the women's 800 meters, freshman Itzel Garcia-Santos ran a national qualifying mark with a time of 2:22.85, while Janiel Moore and Elon'a Jones hit national marks in the 400 meters, as Moore ran a 58.34, and Jones clocked a 58.90.
"Ruth did well in the long jump and I thought she had a better week this weekend," Vance said. "I think she has some big things in store down the road come nationals, and we just have to get her tuned up and ready to go, and I was happy with how she competed today."
South Plains will return to the track on Friday in Lubbock at the Texas Tech Invitational at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center in their final meet before the 2019 NJCAA Indoor National Championships March 1-2 in Pittsburg, Kansas.