El Paso, Texas – After three days of competition at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships, both the men’s and women’s UTEP track and field team sit in second place. The women (37 points) trail Western Kentucky by 22 points, and the men (60) trail Western Kentucky by two points.
Samantha Hall and Taylor Gunn got the Miners off to a solid start Saturday afternoon. Hall set a new personal best in the discus throw with a toss of 56.40m (185-00) to claim first place and a school record. Gunn placed just behind Hall with a throw of 52.34m (171-09) to take second. Sophomore Fayon Gonzales also collected points for the Orange and Blue with a sixth-place finish (46.87m/personal best).
To cap off the night, Anthony Rotich won his third-consecutive 3,000m steeplechase at the Conference USA Championships with a time of 8:59.64. Sophomore Daniel Cheruiyot battled his way to a fifth-place finish with a personal best time of 9:28.71.
In the long jump, the Miners got a much needed performance from Brandon Moss, Carlos Hernandez and Zachary Newman Jr. Moss (7.75/25-5.25) collected a second-place finish, Hernandez (7.68/25-2.50) finished fourth and Newman placed fifth (7.27m/personal best); that trio earned UTEP 17 points. On the women’s side, Israel Ramsay notched a fourth-place finish with a bound of 6.09 (19-11.75).
In a star-studded javelin field featuring four of the top 11 throwers in the country, Rasmus Maukonen launhed the stick 68.86m (225-11) to finish third. In the high jump, Hernandez, following a brief 20 minute break from the long jump, placed in a tie four fourth place by clearing 2.03m (6-8.00).
A plethora of Miners did what they had to do to advance to tomorrow’s finals. Lilian Koech (4:45.89) and Truphena Sum (4:49.78) advanced in the women’s 1,500m run. The Orange and Blue will be well represented in the women’s 100m hurdles; Greta Kerekes (13.56), Anna-Kay James (13.63) and Bria Love (13.77) all had solid times to advance to the finale.
Florence Uwakwe and Aiyanna Stiverne both qualified for the 200m and 400m dash finals tomorrow. Uwakwe ran the 200m dash in 23.63 and the 400m dash in 53.50. Stiverne clocked times of 24.07 (200m dash) and 56.93 (400m dash).
On the men’s side, Zven Zellner clocked a 14.46 to send himself to the finals. Four Miners qualified for the 400m dash; Abiola Onakoya (47.68), A-Shawni Mitchell (48.56), James Bias (47.81/personal best) and Carnell Horn (48.82) all registered times in the top eight to move on.
Cosmas Boit ran his 800m heat with a time of 1:55.59 to advance and A-Shawni Mitchell returned to the 200m dash prelims with a time of 21.20 to proceed to the finals. Finally, Roberto Camacho (53.54) and Tommy McCoy (54.29) had solid performances to move along to Sunday’s finals.
Tomorrow’s action for the UTEP women at 3:00 p.m. with the triple jump (Nickvea Wilson/third best mark in C-USA) and javelin throw (Pearson-#3, Gonzales- #5 in C-USA). The men will spring into action at 4:40 p.m. with the 4x400m relay.
For all the information you could want regarding the C-USA Championships visit www.conferenceusa.com/championships/outdoor-track-championship-15.html.