Texans, Lady Texans cross country sweep Western Texas College Open

Texans, Lady Texans cross country sweep Western Texas College Open

The South Plains College men's and women's cross country teams swept both divisions at the Western Texas College Open on Saturday in Snyder.

The Texans placed seven runners inside the top 10 in the men's 8K, including first place finisher Felix Kosgei, a sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya, who crossed the finish line at 27:16. Jose Silva finished just thirty seconds behind with his second place finish and final time of 27:46. Deric Martinez took third overall with his mark of 28:39, while Omrero Rodriguez took fourth with a time of 28:41.

Connor Hughes and Leo Michel would take fifth and sixth with their final times of 29:23 and 29:49, respectively, while Sophomore Nicholas Rotich rounded out the top 10 with his final tally of 31:08. The Texans finished first overall with a team score of 15 points, with Odessa College and Western Texas taking the second and third positions.

"The course was very challenging; our guys were very solid capturing the first six places," South Plains head cross country coach Frank Barker said. "They were not intimidated by the elements. There was about a two-minute gap between our number one guy and number five. I would like to see that gap close up some. But, I was extremely pleased with their performance."

The Lady Texans were just as impressive in the women's 5K run, placing three runners inside the top five and four inside the top 10. Seselia Dala, a freshman from Amarillo, was the first runner to cross the finish line at the 20:51 mark. Leslie Romero would take second for the Lady Texans with a time of 21:28, while sophomore Poro Gahekave placed third with a time of 22:02.

Lubbock native Caitlyn Mercer put together another solid performance for South Plains with her final mark of 23:38, good enough for sixth place overall, while Lydia Mancillas went on to take 12th for the Lady Texans with a final time of 25:38. South Plains finished first overall in the women's division with a final team score of 15 points, while New Mexico JC, Western Texas and Odessa rounding out the top four.

"The ladies had a perfect score, and they are going to surprise a lot of people before the season is over," Barker said. "They amaze me everyday with their work ethic and their desire to win. We need to close down the gap between one and five, once we do, they will go far."

South Plains will be back in action next week when they travel to New Mexico Junior College on Friday, Sept. 30.