College Station, Texas – Emmanuel Korir garnered his first NCAA title on Saturday afternoon at the Gilliam Indoor Track and Field Stadium.
“Everyone competed at their highest level on the biggest stage and that’s all you can ask for,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “Tobi, Michael and Emmanuel are very special and will continue to do great things. I can’t wait to see what they will do in the outdoor season.”
Competing in the 800m final, Michael Saruni and Korir both started the race with a blazing pace. Saruni set the tone early leading the pack for two laps. Korir was closely behind and found his opportunity with a last minute kick to cross the finish line first with a time of 1:47.48. The freshman becomes the 40th national champion for the UTEP track and field program.
Teammate Saruni was disqualified after officials reviewed some jostling between Saruni and Drew Piazza from Virginia Tech.
In the women’s 60m hurdles Tobi Amusan competed to her fullest extent, but ultimately finished sixth overall with a time of 8.03.
The UTEP track and field program closed the book on a successful indoor season and will look to carry their moment into the outdoor season. The Miners return to action on March 25 for their first of three home meets.
UTEP will host the Conference USA outdoor championships May 11-14 at Kidd Field.