The West Texas A&M men and women have added a handful of transfers to their team this offseason. Here are some of the names that will be joining the D2 program...
Sese Dala (via Texas Tech)
Florance Uwajeneza (via Iowa Central CC)
Nyia Sena (via South Plains CC)
Angela Rodriguez (via South Plains CC)
This summer, we have seen a flurry of South Plains CC runners making the move to Canyon, Texas for the upcoming cross country season. Not only are Nyia Sena and Angela Rodriguez making the move, but so is Sela Dala who spent the last two seasons at Texas Tech after previously attending South Plains CC.
Sena and Rodriguez don't necessarily have jaw-dropping times or finishes, but they will be welcomed developmental pieces for the Buffaloes and could add some depth in the future.
However, the big name here is Sese Dala. The Texas Tech transfer was an underrated distance talent during her time with the Red Raiders. She finished 11th at the BIG 12 XC Championships in 2019 and earned a top-40 finish at the always-loaded Mountain Regional Championships as well. Unfortunately, she no longer has cross country eligibility according to TFRRS.
Dala doesn’t have any championship experience, but she should find herself within the top-tier of runners relatively soon at the Division II level. She holds personal bests of 9:52 (3k), 16:43 (5k) and 35:13 (10k). That 10k personal best would have placed Dala at NCAA #12 in the D2 national rankings in 2019.
The last transfer on the women's side is Florance Uwajeneza from Iowa Central CC. Her most recent accomplishments include a 7th place finish at the 2019 NJCAA Cross Country Championships, two 3rd place finishes in both the 3000 meters and the mile at the 2020 NJCAA Indoor Championships, and a 2nd place finish in the 5000 meters at the same meet.
In total, Uwajeneza has amassed 10 JUCO All-American honors throughout her two years at Iowa Central. She owns personal bests that are similar to Dala and given her success at the highest levels of junior college, there’s no reason why she shouldn’t be a top D2 runner in the country for the Buffaloes.
Innocent Murwanashyaka (via Iowa Central)
Jay Hall (via Mount Olive)
Harry Louradour (via College Bernard de Ventadour (France))
Calvin Allen (via Central Arkansas)
Despite the status of the upcoming cross country season still shrouded in a cloud of uncertainty, one team from the Lone Star Conference is likely hoping that they’ll be able to showcase their new talent to the their South Central region rivals a few months from now.
On the men’s side, the West Texas A&M Buffaloes have added inter-division transfer Jay Hall (from Mount Olive) to their team. He was just a sophomore this past year, and despite a few off days at the National Championships, he has shown plenty of promise.
As a freshman, Hall ran 31:00 for 10,000 meters on the track, indicating that he could be a reliable backend scorer for the Buffs later this year (or whenever the next cross country season may be). When you consider that West Texas A&M is losing three of their top seven from last fall (according to TFRRS), a replacement with Hall's experience becomes increasingly more valuable.
Then we have Harry Louradour who is making his way from College Bernard de Ventadour in France. Louradour has had a good amount of success at the U-18 level for France and owns a personal best of 14:46 for 5000 meters -- a time that suggests he can run faster at other distances and potentially evolve into a cross country All-American.
We then come to Calvin Allen who is coming from Central Arkansas. Admittedly, Allen didn’t have a great freshman year. Even so, he ran 4:25 (1600) and 9:40 (3200) in high school, indicating that he could be a nice piece for the future.
We finally come to Iowa Central’s Innocent Murwanashyaka, an underrated name in the JUCO scene over the past few years.
The JUCO transfer never faltered during any of his NCAA appearances and has posted a handful of respectable times such as 8:31 (3k) and 9:36 (steeplechase). He was also 14th at the NJCAA XC Championships back in 2018.
His 25:05 for 8000 meters during the cross country season leads us to believe that he has the ability to be a strong number two or number three runner for West Texas A&M later this year (or in 2021). He could be the perfect complement for star low-stick Ezekiel Kipchirchir who also competed at Iowa Central prior to joining West Texas A&M.