Record-breaker Janet Amponasah of Western Texas College was honored as the NJCAA Women's Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association this week.
The indoor track and field season began Jan. 16-17 as both South Plains College and Western Texas College competed at the Texas Tech Open in Lubbock.
Closse had a distinguished Lady Texan career, winning three
NJCAA championships in her freshman year (2008-09) and winning two more this
past season. At the 2009 NJCAA indoor championships hosted by Texas Tech
University Closse set a NJCAA record in the shot put and also won the weight
throw on her way to being named Field Event Athlete of the Meet. She then
added the outdoor shot put championship to her list of accolades when she won
with a meet record throw.
It is very possible Closse would have more than five titles had the SPC track teams competed in the 2010 NJCAA indoor championships. However, she completed her career as a Lady Texan by repeating as champion in the shot put and added the discus title as well as a third place finish in the hammer throw, scoring 26 points and helping the Lady Texans to a second consecutive NJCAA outdoor championship.
Closse, who owns SPC school records in the indoor shot put and weight throw, as well as the outdoor shot put, discus and hammer throws, will continue her education and athletic career at Texas Tech University.
About the Betty Jo Graber Award
Betty Jo Graber spent 35 years advancing opportunities for women in NJCAA athletics. Along with a successful basketball coaching career at Weatherford College, she was also the Region 5 Women's Director, the NJCAA Women's Basketball Committee Chair and a founding member of the NJCAA Women's Division. Graber is a member of the inaugural class inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in Tennessee. Graber was the perfect model of hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics. This award is given annually to the NJCAA Student-Athlete that best exhibits these traits.
The NMJC Lady T-Birds made history this past weekend at the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The team brought home the first ever title for Women's Track and Field at NMJC.
Right from the start the meet turned into an epic battle between two great teams, NMJC and Iowa Central Community College. After nineteen of the twenty events NMJC trailed Iowa Central by two points. In the final event, the 4 x 400 meter relay, NMJC finished with second place for 8 points while Iowa Central came away with third good for six points. This left the score tied at 115 points and since there is no tie breaker in Indoor Track this gave both schools a share of the National Title.
Leading the way for the Lady T-birds was Caroline Jepleting. Caroline brought home the gold in three individual events and one relay. For her great performances Caroline was named the NJCAA Female Track Runner of the Year. Also scoring ten or more points for the team were Keno Heavens, Olivia Lewis (who was 400 meter National Champion), Jordan Brown and Yolanda Suggs.
Overall the team finished with eight National Champions, twenty three All-Americans, and six school records.
For an outstanding coaching job, Head Coach Keith Blackwill was awarded the Co-National Coach of the Meet!!