NMMI Sports Press
HOBBS — Bronco cross country runner Sandra Szpott led NMMI to a team second-place finish Friday at the New Mexico Junior College Invitational at Harry McAdams State Park. It was the highest team finish for the Lady Broncos in a number of years.
Besides the freshman’s winning run, returners Katarzyna Rosikon and Amy Farfan Aguilar finished in the top 10, with Valeriia Uvarova iust behind in 12th.
“I thought they ran really good,” said coach Jan Olesinski. “Sandra won, so it’s amazing. I believe it’s the first time we had any college girl win a race.”
And Szpott was pleased with her run.
“I feel very good. I ran well, in my opinion,” she said. “The course was good. It didn’t have a lot of hills and was very runnable.”
Szpott stayed with two South Plains runners for about half the race, then pulled ahead and never again trailed. Rosikon took fifth, pulling away from a University of the Southwest runner just before the finish, while Aguilar was just behind a Mustang.
Rosikon’s time was 30 seconds better than last year at the same race, and Aguilar was running for the first time as a Bronco without an injury.
Uvarova gave it an extra push at the line, edging an SP Texan, while Francisca Nyarko and Becsave Pacheco, dual-sport athletes who also play tennis for the Broncos, finished in 34th and 35th, with Nyarko passing Pacheco at the finish. Mikayla Lopez took ill along the way and couldn’t finish.
“I think the four girls did an outstanding job,” Olesinski said of his full-time runners. The three tennis players have been busy with fall tourneys, so haven’t had time to practice much, but with that fall season winding down, Olesinski is hoping they’ll move up in the finishes,
“I believe from now on they will be more focused in the weeks before nationals,” he said.
The Broncos will be back in Hobbs Oct. 14 for the University of the Southwest Invitational, hoping to improve on Friday’s times.
NMMI results from the NMJC Invitational
Team — 1, South Plains, 29; 2, NMMI, 39; 3, Lubbock Christian, 63; Sul Ross State, 85
Invididual — 1, Sandra Szpott, 19:01.00; 5, Katarzyna Rosikon, 20:10.00; 9, Amy Farfan Aguilar, 21:10.00; 12, Valeriia Uvarova, 21:39.00; 34, Francisca Nyarko, 26:46.00; 35, Becsave Pacheco, 26:47.00; 36, Mikayla Lopez, DNF
NMJC Invitational results