by: JOSHUA RAMIREZ/Sports Editor
The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams showcased their skills in separate competitions for their third meet of the season.
The men’s team headed to Stillwater, Okla., to compete in the Oklahoma State University Cowboy Jamboree on Sept. 26. The women’s team was in Hobbs, New Mexico on the same day competing in the New Mexico Junior College Invitational.
The men’s cross country team competed against Division I competition at the Cowboy Jamboree on Sept. 26. The pool of competing schools included host school OSU, who took first overall at the meet with a team score of 40 points.
The University of Kentucky tied for second place with Northern Arizona, both finishing with a team score of 61 points.
SPC placed seventh in the team rankings, finishing with an average time of 26:32.01 and a team score of 160 points.
Hassan Abdi led the men for the third consecutive race, as he was able to complete his first 8,000-meter course of the season in a time of 25:13.8, finishing 10th overall.
Next to finish for the Texans was freshman Nicholas Rotich, coming in at 33rd overall with a time of 26:22.6.
Behind Rotich was fellow freshman Jose Silva, who finished the race in 26:51 and finished 43rd overall.
The fourth runner to score for the Texans was Kelvin Keter, who posted a time of 27:00.
Freshman Omero Rodriguez was the final runner to finish for the Texans, as he completed the race in 27:13.5 and finished 56th.
At the NMJC Invitational, the SPC women had a strong performance, placing third overall with a team score of 67 points.
El Paso Junior College placed first at the competition with a team score of 40 points, while NMJC placed second with 42 points.
Freshman Sasha-Gaye Whyte made a jump in the overall standings, finishing fourth at the NMJC Invitational with a time of 20:21.
Sophomore Kassidi Jones was the next Lady Texan to cross the finish line, posting a time of 21:05 and fiinishing 10th overall.
Sophomore Dominque Williams and freshman Maya Perez were the next runners to score for the SPC women, finishing with times of 21:57 and 22:46, respectively, and placing 14th and 20th overall.
Freshman Megan Kinsley was the final runner to score for the Lady Texans, finishing 21st overall with a time of 22:52.
Although the women had some trouble at the meet, coach Frank Barker says there were some pleasant surprises as well.
“We stuggled some,” said Barker. “We had a few problems here and there.”
Although the Lady Texans had a few troubles at the meet, Barker says that it’s more about the mentality of his runners at this point in the season.
“I wasn’t worried about where we positioned as to how well we competed,” said Barker. “When they got someone running next to them, they challenged them, and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Barker says the SPC men also competed hard against the Division I competition at the Cowboy Jamboree.
“Our men ran in the university division, not the small college,” Barker explained. “If we ran down there with the other junior colleges, I think we would have won that one.”
Like the women, Barker says the men’s team showed him what he was looking for at the meet.
“The men competed really well,” explained Barker. “They ran with a purpose. Those guys want to win, and that’s the way they ran.”
The SPC cross country teams were back in New Mexico on Oct. 9 for their next meet of the season. Results were not available at press time.