LEVELLAND — The South Plains College men's and women's track and field teams competed in their final meet before indoor nationals on Monday at the Texan Track and Field Complex, with the Texans posting the top 4x400 relay time in the NJCAA this season.
"I feel like this a team that has gotten better every time we went out," South Plains head coach Erik Vance said. "I saw an improvement from day one to day two over the last two days, and I saw a group of kids who went out with a sense of urgency and competed extremely hard. I saw a bunch that wanted to get after and they did."
The Texans clocked a 3:09.31 in the 4x400 relay, hitting a national qualifying mark and was also the top time in the country in the NJCAA this season. The Texans picked up another national mark in the men's 60 meters as freshman Chaunzavia Lewis was second with a time of 6.84.
"I expected them to run well," Vance said. "But, to run a 3:09 based on what we have run previously so far, I didn't really expect that. A lot of credit goes to our b and c squads who were out there with them and made them work early in the race. Those guys just went after it in the last two legs and really did something we had to have."
In the men's 600 meters, freshman Seydi Sall hit a national mark with a time of 1:19.34 to take first in the event. Mehdi Yanouri hit a national mark in the men's mile run, taking first with a time of 4:20.34. The Texans picked up a trio of national marks in the men's 60 hurdles as Justin Guy was first in 7.94, while Chris Robinson was third in 8.15, and Damarcus Sneed was fourth in 8.23.
South Plains picked up a pair of national marks in the men's pole vault as Thomas Nieto was first with a clearance of 15' 9", and Scott Frazier was second with a mark of 14' 5.25". Austin Montgomery capped the day with a first place finish in the long jump, hitting a national mark with a jump of 23' 5.5".
The Lady Texans were just as dominant on the women's side, tallying three national marks in the women's 60 meters. Sophomore Rosemary Chukwuma was first in 7.33, while Success Umukoro was second in 7.52, and Keshana Page was third in 7.62.
In the women's 200 meters, Chukwuma hit a national mark with a time of 24.04, good enough for first, while Jordan Brown took second and hit a national in 24.93. Cemore Donald turned in a time of 1:36.74 in the women's 600 meters to take first and qualify for nationals, while Camille Lewis was second in 1:38.33, also hitting a national mark.
In the women's 60 hurdles, Tia Harry hit a national with a time of 8.79, placing first in the event. The Lady Texans added three national marks in the high jump as Camille Lewis was first in 5' 4.5", while Joniar Thomas took second in 5' 3.25", and Ari Villafranco tied for second in 5' 3.25".
Freshman Mackenzie Griffin hit a national mark in the women's pole vault, placing first on the afternoon with a clearance of 10' 2". The Lady Texans capped the meet with a pair of national marks in the women's triple jump as defending national triple jump champion Onaara Obamuwagun took first with a mark of 43' 4.5", while Dejah Fuller was second with a jump of 39' 1.75".
"I knew we had a good team and as a coach, you know what you have on paper and what the kids are capable of," Vance said. "You see them day in and day out, but today I saw a team with fire and drive that I've seen in the teams we've had that have won titles. We are definitely a different team now then we were three weeks ago – I know that for a fact."