Special to The Flash
by Tommy Wells, Public Information Officer for Ranger College
ABILENE – Heading into the 2015 Bill Libby Invitational, Ranger College cross country coach Kathy Graham wanted to see one thing from her men’s squad in its season-opening race – hard work.
Graham got more than that on Friday evening at Nelson Park in Abilene. She got a team that worked hard enough to finish third in the final team standings.
“To place third against four-year schools is good work,” said Graham, who watched seven of her 13 runners finish in the top 50 in a field of more than 80 athletes.
As a team, Ranger College rolled up 93 total points in the meet. South Plains won the meet title with 31 points. Texas Wesleyan was second with 67. Lubbock Christian and Abilene Christian rounded out the top five spots.
Freshman Amos Kipchumba created plenty of excitement for the Rangers by claiming fourth \ in his first-ever college meet. A native of Kenya, Kipchumba covered the 5-kilometer course in a blistering time of 15 minutes and 46.49 seconds.
Kipchumba’s time was just 16 seconds off the winning pace set by South Plains’ Hassan Abdi, who won with a time of 15:30.78. Texas Wesleyan’s Anthony Kimaiyo edged out Abilene Christian’s Daniel Block for second.
Moises Montanez added to Ranger’s impressive outing. The Bartlett (Texas) freshman gave the Rangers a second top 20 finisher by placing 16th. His final time in the 3.1-mile race was 16:44.36.
James Ramos and Nicholas Wittkopp also did well for RC. Ramos, a freshman from Marble Falls, Texas, placed 22nd overall at 17:03.79, while Wittkopp, a sophomore from Kyle, Texas, was 26th at 17:09.84.
Sydney Leverett, Carlos Colon and Ruben Sandoval all finished in the top 50. Leverett placed 32nd at 17:20.32, while Colon checked in at No. 36 with a time of 17:23.73. Sandoval was 49th at 17:56.61.
Also finishing well for Ranger were freshmen Isaac Gafishi (53rd), Angel Castrejon (60th) and Tonny Kiplagat (78th. Sophomores Egide Muvange and Kyle Haynes finished 69th and 75th, respectively.
2015 Bill Libby Invitational
Final Team Standings
1. South Plains 31
2. Texas Wesleyan 67
3. Ranger College 93
4. Lubbock Christian 101
5. Abilene Christian 108
6. Angelo State 125
7. McMurry 206
8. UT-Permian Basin 208
9. Sul Ross State 270