LYNCHBURG, Virginia — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams capped the indoor season with a pair of third place national finishes Saturday at the Indoor Track and Field National Championships at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex.
The Texans finished the meet with 72.5 points, with Iowa Central taking first with 118 points, followed by Barton County who finished second with 99.5 points. The Lady Texans tallied 98 points on the weekend, with New Mexico Junior College placing first with 160 points, while Iowa Central was second with 115 points.
Sophomore Moitalel Mpoke was crowned national champion in the men's 600 meters, clocking the top time in 1:16.93. Issac Hastings would earn a fourth place national finish in the men's 600, crossing the line in 1:19.36. Mpoke would then earn national champion honors in the men's 800 meters, posting a final time of 1:52.64. In the men's 60 meter hurdles, Denvaughn Whymns posted a fifth place overall finish for South Plains, crossing the line in 8.06.
"We went in knowing we had to be nearly perfect, and as a coach you know it's a rare occurrence if the meet goes perfectly for you," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "It wasn't perfect, but both teams put out a great effort. Mo was extremely impressive, and to go out and win two tough races is a testament to him."
In the men's 400 meters, South Plains' Khaleb McRae turned in a second place finish with a final time of 47.40. The Texans would cap the meet with a fourth place finish in the men's 4x400 as Mpoke, McRae, Adrese Atkins and Hastings turned in a final time of 3:14.14.
In the women's triple jump, freshman Onaara Obamuwagun was crowned national champion, soaring 42' 0.75". Rosemary Chukwuma turned in a sixth place finish for South Plains in the women's 60-meter dash, clocking a 7.51. The Lady Texans would pick up another sixth place finish in the women's 600 meters as Amaya Phillips posted a 1:37.82. Chukwuma would follow up with a third place finish in the women's 200, posting a 23.81.
"On the women's side our girls had an outstanding meet and Daisy and Dorcus scored every time they touched the track," Vance said. "I'm really proud of Onaara and what she was able to do in both the triple and long jump, and I can't say enough about the effort our women's team put out this weekend and throughout the season."
Sophomore All-American Dorcus Ewoi picked up a second place finish for South Plains in the women's 1000 meters, turning in a final time of 2:56.83. In the women's 4x800, South Plains notched a third place finish as Itzel Garcia-Santos, Gladys Jemaiyo, Lexi Jackson, and Daisy Kibet clocked a 9:32.61. The Lady Texans would close out the meet with a third place finish in the women's 4x400 as Phillips, Garcia-Santos, Anna-Kay Allen and Jordan Brown crossed the line in 3:50.10.
"Any time you can go to a national meet and bring trophies home and get both teams on the podium, it's a good day for us," Vance said. "We had people on both the men's and women's side step up for us and do what they needed to go, and we need to keep working and getting better if we want to move up a couple spots on that podium."