LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams will look to add another banner to the rafters come Saturday as they compete for national gold at the 2020 NJCAA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Lynchburg, Virginia at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex March 6-7.
The Texans come in ranked second in the latest USTFCCCA national poll and hold 16 marks which rank in the top five nationally. Their last indoor title coming in 2018 in Lubbock, the Texans have posted three of the top marks in the country, two coming from sophomore Moitalel Mpoke who ran a blistering 1:14.97 in the 600 meters and also holds the top time in the 800 meters with a 1:50.72.
South Plains also posted the top time in the men's 4x400 with a 3:10.19 at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, which could prove to be a crucial race come meet's end. Freshman Romaine Beckford holds the second-best mark in the high jump with after clearing 7' 1.75" in Lubbock, while sophomore Rylan Olguin comes in with the second-best mark in the men's pole vault after a 16' 0.75" clearance at the Red Raider Invitational.
The Texans will look to a special group of jumpers to add to the team total, as sophomore Devaughn Whymns comes in with the third-best mark in the long jump, soaring 24' 10" in Lubbock. Whymns' teammate Tony McNeal has proven to be on of the top jumpers in the country to date as the freshman enters the meet with the fifth-best mark with a jump of 24' 3.75" at the Red Raider Invitational.
Ranked fourth in the latest national poll, the Lady Texans head into championship weekend with 13 top-five marks to date. Freshman Rosemary Chukwuma made her mark for the Lady Texans early on, running the fastest time this year in the women's 60 meters in 7.35 on Jan. 24 in Lubbock. Chukwuma also ranks second in the 200 meters, clocking a 23.96 at the Texas Tech Shootout on Feb. 14.
Sophomore All-American Dorcus Ewoi will run in her final indoor meet for the Lady Texans as she looks to make her presence felt across the board. Ewoi comes in with the second-best mark in both the women's 600 meters with a time of 1:34.51, as well as the 1000 meters with a time of 2:51.07. Ewoi posted the third top mark in the mile run in 4:55.61 and also ranks fifth in the 800 meters with a time of 2:13.83, and fifth in the 3000 meters with a time of 10:12.17.
Already holding the NJCAA women's 5000-meter national record, All-American Gladys Jemaiyo will look to add to her legacy in Levelland as she comes in with the top mark of 16:38.42 at the Charlie Thomas Invitational. Competing in her first national meet for the Lady Texans, freshman Onaara Obamuwagun will look to hold down her top spot in the women's triple jump, posting the best mark to date with a jump of 43' 3.75".
Freshman Siiva Tafiti posted the third-best throw in the women's shot put on Feb. 21 in Lubbock, posting a personal best 50' 4.75". The Lady Texans will also need big performances from their relay teams which have shown to be up to the task this season as they rank third in both the women's 4x400 with a time of 3:49.71, and third in the 4x800 with a time of 9:12.16.