After watching her team compete against some of the larger Division I programs in the state a week ago, Ranger College women's cross country coach Kathy Graham said she had two goals for her team: Get in better shape and learn a "pack" approach to running.
The Lady Rangers have improved on both goals on Sept. 8 as they raced to a second-place finish at the Western Texas College Open race in Snyder. Ranger had seven runners bunch in the top 20 spots and finished second in the final team standings to South Plains College.
"This is a big improvement since last week," said Graham, who saw all 10 of her runners complete the 5-kilometer race in the top 30. "Significant is the fact they cut in half the time between the first and fifth runner."
Jessica Thomas-Billot continued to shine during the early portion of the season for the Lady Rangers. Despite competing in rainy and muddy conditions, she powered her way to fifth in the race standings with a time of 22 minutes, 31 seconds.
South Plains College's Gladys Jemaiyo won the women's race with a mark of 19:48.
Ranger had a pack of runners finish just outside the top 10 in the race. Catherine Lopez sprinted her way to 11th with a run of 24:10. Breanne Irish and Ezrie Gates places 12th and 13th, respectively, at 24:20 and 24:37. Samantha Rivera was 14th at 24:45. Teammates Mia Garcia and Yenifer Martinez were 17th and 20th with times of 25:04 and 25:18, respectively.
Ranger will return to action on Sept. 28 when they travel to Hobbs, N.M. to compete in the New Mexico Junior College Invitational.