South Plains track & field capture four event titles Friday at Texas Tech Matador Qualifier

South Plains track & field capture four event titles Friday at Texas Tech Matador Qualifier

LUBBOCK — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams combined for four event titles Friday in their final indoor meet of the regular season at the Texas Tech Matador Qualifier at the Texas Tech Sports Performance Center.

Sophomore Holland Martin kicked off the meet with a first place finish in the men's long jump with a mark of 23' 0.5" on his fifth attempt. The Texans would go one-two in the event after Devaughn Whymns placed second with a mark of 22' 6.5". Martin would then record his second top finish on the afternoon in the triple jump, soaring 50' 5.25" on his third attempt.

"Holland has been a little beat up and took a week off and came back feeling good with where he's at and is ready to go for the national meet," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "In the triple jump, we came in somewhat relaxed and wanted to make sure we had the qualifying mark for the national meet and ended up having a pretty good day. For him to be out there and feeling good with some time to work on a few things before nationals, I think he's going to be in a good spot to really have a good performance in the long and triple jump in Kansas." 

Sophomore Deion Lightfoot recorded the fastest time in the men's 60 meter hurdles, turning in a final time of 8.05. Freshman Decoven Young earned a third place finish in the event with a time of 8.43. Freshman Dorcus Ewoi picked up an event title for the Lady Texans in the women's 3000 meters, running a 10:32.88 to take first.

"I thought Deion ran really well and ran his most complete race all year," Vance said. "I still don't think he's where he can be and I say that in a positive light. I think he can put a really fast race together and is ready for one, and a couple little pieces have to get put together and he will be ready to make some noise as the national championships."

In the women's long jump, South Plains freshman Elon'a Jones turned in a final mark of 18' 3", placing third in the event. The Texans placed a pair of jumpers in the top three in the men's high jump as Bryson Deberry and Asani Hylton went two-three. Deberry cleared 6' 9.75", placing second overall, while Hylton soared 6' 9.25" to take third.

In the women's mile, freshman Nyia Sena clocked a 5:38.33, good enough for fifth place. Jesse Madrid would follow up with a second place finish in the men's mile, posting a time of 4:32.32. The Lady Texans placed a pair of runners in the top 10 in the women's 600 meters. Janiel Moore crossed the line in 1:37.08 to take third, while Itzel Garcia-Santos ran a 1:41.13 to take eighth.

The Texans placed two runners in the top five in the men's 3000 meters as freshman Alex Kitum took second with a 8:54.66 and sophomore Filmon Beyene ran a 9:03.71, earning a fifth place overall finish.

In the final event of the meet, the Lady Texans placed second in the women's 4x400 as Janiel Moore, Jones, Hanah Mills, and Garcia-Santos posted a 3:58.79. The Texans would then place third in the men's 4x400, as Willari Watson, Hylton, Martin, and Japhet Toroitich ran a 3:20.49.

"I really feel like we have everyone where they want to be," Vance said. "I feel like we came out today and had several solid performances and have a good group who's focused on what they're going to do at the national meet. We had a few more we wanted to get qualified and move up in our seedings in a few spots, and I think we accomplished that and feel good with where we're at." 

With the regular season complete, South Plains will look to add to the trophy case when they travel to Pittsburg, Kansas for the 2019 NJCAA Indoor Track & Field National Championships at the Prentice Gudgen Complex March 1-2. The Texans enter the meet as the defending indoor national champions.