Norwood wins first invidual event at South Plains

LUBBOCK - Competing with a full squad for the first time in the 2012 indoor track and field season, the South Plains College Texans and Lady Texan track teams literally hit the ground running by capturing four individual titles on day one of the Texas Tech Open.
Sophomore Victoria Flemons was the first SPC athlete to win a title when the defending NJCAA outdoor triple jump champion soared to a best of 18 feet, 8 inches in the ‘A’ section of the women’s long jump. Flemons bested her teammate and defending NJCAA long jump champion Keri Emanuel who finished fourth with a best attempt of 18-00.25.
Kemoy Campbell started his season off on a good note with a first place time of 2 minutes, 24.96 seconds in the men’s 1,000-meter run. Campbell led for the majority of the race on his way to defeating his nearest competitor by nearly one second.
Janeil Bellille - the defending NJCAA Indoor runner-up in the 55-meter hurdles - proved she has a good amount of endurance as she led a 1-4 Lady Texan sweep of the women’s 600 yard dash. Bellille outdueled Sparkle McKnight, last week’s Texas Tech Open champion in the event, turning in a time of 1:22.08 compared to McKnight’s 1:22.70. NJCAA Outdoor 400 hurdle champion Shana-Gaye Tracey (1:24.85) finished third, while freshman Darroneshia Lott (1:24.99) was fourth.
In the men’s 600 yard dash freshman Vernon Norwood took down teammate and returning all-American Bralon Taplin as the two finished first and second. Taplin won the first-of-eight sections with a time of 1:10.76. Since the events are seeded by time, the winner of the first section most often comes out with the best time. Not so on this day as Norwood sped to a time of 1:10.58 in the second section to claim the overall title in the event.
Competing in the ‘B’ section of the men’s long jump, Jarvis Gotch recorded a best leap of 24-09.25 to finish first in the section. However, the jump was also better than all but one mark in the ‘A’ section to finish with the second best jump of the evening.
The Texan and Lady Texan track and field teams will look to continue to put up big marks and claim individual as well as relay titles when the second and final day of the meet resumes Saturday. Field events are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. while the first SPC running event will begin at 12:30 p.m. with the 1-mile run.
Day two of Texas Tech Indoor
The South Plains College track and field teams had another solid day as they claimed two individual titles, won the men’s 4x400 meter relay, and narrowly missed two school records on the second and final day of the Texas Tech Open. Distance runners Darroneshia Lott and Kemoy Campbell each won their respective events to push SPC’s two day individual event championship tally to six. Daniel Harper, Alistair Moona, Vernon Norwood, and Bralon Taplin finished the day off on the right note by claiming the 4x400 meter relay in the final event of the day.
Lott just missed breaking Lisa Forsberg’s 2011 school record time of 5 minutes, 8.52 seconds when she crossed the line in 5:08.55, defeating her nearest competitor by nearly eight seconds.
SPC head coach Chris Beene expects Lott to keep getting better.
“She (Lott) won the half-marathon championship as a freshman, which shows she has some range and ran 5:08 today and I think she can run faster,” Beene said. “She is a very talented young lady.”
Campbell also cruised to an easy 14-second victory in the men’s 3,000 meters, crossing the line in 8:28.36. His time showed that with a bit more training as well as competition, John Kosgei’s school record of 8:23.17 may very well be in jeopardy.
The quartet of Harper, Moona, Norwood, and Taplin improved upon their season opening time from last week on their way to winning their second consecutive relay in as many weeks at Texas Tech. Harper and Moona each ran solid legs to keep SPC close to Texas Tech and Norwood handed the baton to his anchorman, Taplin, with the lead. Only briefly did Taplin surrender the lead to former SPC Texan Isaiah Gill before sprinting past his former teammate in the final curve to finish with a quick time of 3:08.25.
Making his Texan debut in the pole vault, freshman K’Don Samuels nearly broke an eight year old school record in the event as he finished second overall with a clearance of 17-00.75 on his second attempt.
Beene said Samuels also nearly matched his personal best of 17-02 and is excited as to what he may add to the tradition of vaulters at SPC.
“That kid is as talented a pole vaulter as SPC has ever had and there has been a strong tradition there,” the eighth year Texan coach said. “He is going to have a promising future and he may break some national records before he is done.”
The Texan and Lady Texan track teams will enjoy a week away from competition before returning to the Texas Tech Athletic Training Center one final time Feb. 4. They will then conclude their season Feb. 10-11 at the Tyson Invitational hosted by the University of Arkansas.

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