Jessica Thomas-Billot and Catherine Lopez both raced their way to All-American honors and helped carry the Ranger College women to a fifth-place finish at the NJCAA Half Marathon in Gulf Shores, Alabama, on Nov. 17.
Having two members of her team finish in the top 20 and seeing her team finish fifth in the women's final team standings left RC head coach Kathy Graham pleased.
"Our women's finish was a little surprising as none of the three runners we took had ever run a half marathon," she said. "For us to have two earn All American and run as fast and hard as they did was great."
Overall, all three Ranger College runners – Thomas-Billot, Lopez and Yenifer Martinez - finished in the top 25 in the individual standings.
Thomas-Billot, a freshman from France, netted her second All-American award in as many weeks with her efforts in Alabama. Only a week after earning All-American status at the 2018 NJCAA National Cross Country Championships in Kansas, she raced her way to 15th in the Half Marathon standings with a time of 1 hour, 33 minutes and 8 seconds.
Lopez also starred for RC, taking 18th overall with a time of 1:33.49.
Only the top 20 runners in the race netted Coaches Association All-American accolades.
Martinez narrowly missed giving Ranger a third All-American. She finished 24th overall at 1:38.50.
South Plain College freshman Gladys Jemaiyo won the women's race, crossing the finish line in a time of 1:21.16. El Paso Community College freshman Everlyn Kemboi was second.