ABILENE - Jahlil Howard and Fernando Teran both turned outstanding performances Saturday and helped power the Ranger College men's cross country team to a second-place finish at the season-opening Naimudu Classic at Abilene Christian University. The lone NJCAA squad participating in the meet, Ranger had all 13 of its runners finish in the top 45 and chalked up just 56 points.
NCAA Division I power Texas Tech won the Naimudu championship with 28 points. Abilene Christian, the University of Texas-Permian Basin and Angelo State University rounded out the top five, respectively.
"This was a great showing for the men to beat ACU, Angelo State and UTPB," said head coach Kathy Graham. "I was very pleased with the way the team did."
A sophomore, Howard threatened to steal the meet's thunder in the men's 8-kilometer race. He legged out a time of 26 minutes, 47.71 seconds and finished third in the final standings. His time was just over 21 seconds off the winning pace set by ACU's Kevin Kipkosgei. Texas Tech's Stephen Alvarez held off a strong push from Howard to finish second. His time was 26:35.36 – just over 12 seconds faster than Howard's mark.
Teran also legged out a top 10 finish in the event, placing sixth with a time of 26:58.73
Daniel De La Cruz Flores rounded out the Rangers' scoring. He finished 24th overall at 29:07.08.
Edward Njunguna, Troy Wiles and Gilberto Palomo all placed in the top 30. Njunguna, a freshman from Richmond, Texas, finished 26th with a time of 29:21.22. Wiles, a sophomore from Dallas, and Palomo, a freshman from Alamo, Texas, placed 29th and 30th, respectively, with times of 29:30.35 and 29:33.92.
Ranger will return to action this Saturday when they compete in the Western Texas College Invitational.
For complete results of the ACU Naimudu Classic click here