When Ranger College head coach Kathy Graham watched her team arrive for the start of the Hardin-Simmons Invitational on Saturday, she admitted to being a bit unsure as what to expect. The season's first race combined with wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour tend to create some uncertainty in the coaching ranks.
It didn't affect the Rangers in the least, however. Ranger College men's track and field team powered its way to a tie for third in the meet, which was held Feb. 23 in Abilene. The Rangers won three events and established two new school marks en route to rolling up 64.33 points and tying Concordia University in the standings. Texas Lutheran won the meet with 204 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Hardin-Simmons who netted 157.
"We put out solid performances despite the wind," said Graham.
Loic Rossignaud started the Rangers' medal run in the distance events early by capturing first in the 1,500-meter run. The freshman from France breezed through the course with a winning time of 4 minutes, 26.58 seconds.
Fernando Teran added to the Rangers' success in the 1,500-meter race. The sophomore standout finished fourth overall at 4:36.13.
Rossignaud and Edward Njunguna also starred in the 800-meter run. Rossignaud netted his second gold of the meet with a winning mark of 2:08.06. Njunguna was fourth in the standings at 2:09.60.
Ranger was even more dominant in its next race. Sophomore Jahlil Howard helped Ranger sprint to an outstanding performance in the 5,000-meter run. Howard took the gold medal in the race and highlighted a 1-3-4 finish by RC. Howard legged out a winning time of 16 minutes, 11.91 seconds.
Daniel Dela Cruz-Flores and Gilberto Palomo raced their way to third- and fourth-place marks in the event. Dela Cruz-Flores netted a bronze medal with a third-place time of 16:57.87. Palomo was fourth at 17:01.38.
Magana closed out the Rangers' effort with a stellar performance in the high jump competition. En route to placing second overall, he established a new school record in the event by clearing 5-foot, 9.75 inches. Texas Lutheran sophomore Heath McDonough won the high jump honors with a leap of 5-11 ½.