Birmingham, Ala. – For the second year in a row, the UTEP women’s track and field team struck gold at the Birmingham CrossPlex. The women tallied 120 points during the two-day meet to fend off second-place Western Kentucky (106 points).
“The coaching staff is very proud of our girls and they had to work really hard for this title,” Conference USA Head Coach of the Year Mika Laaksonen said. “Nothing was handed to us, we had some challengers that we fought off all day long…I couldn’t more proud of the team.”
The biggest point haul of the day for the Miners came early in the 60m hurdles. Two freshman, Tobi Amusan (8.23/personal best) and Brittney Trought (8.37), swept the top two spots to capture 18 crucial points on the way to the title.
Senior Nickevea Wilson claimed her second career indoor triple jump conference title with a bound of 12.92m to gain 10 points. Wilson tallied a total of 15 points during the two-day event.
Sophomore Lilian Koech had another outstanding day on the indoor track. The Kenyan took gold in the mile run with a readout of 4:53.43, fourth in the 800m run with a time of 2:11.68 and fifth in the 3,000m run with a time of 9:45.05 for a total of 19 points.
Ada Benjamin (53.73/400m dash/personal best) and Florence Uwakwe (23.84/200m dash) both scooped up second-place in each of their respective events to combine for 16 more points. Uwakwe also tallied a fifth-place showing in the 60m dash with a time of 7.53 to earn four additional points.
Samantha Hall launched a shot put 14.16m on her way to a third-place finish to gather 6 points and at the time, bring UTEP to a tie with Western Kentucky with two events left.
The aformention Koech placed fifth in that race while freshman Winny Koech tallied fourth to give the Miners nine points and an eight-point lead entering the 4x400m relay.
The women’s 4x400m relay team of Yanique Bennett, Uwakwe, Imani Adams and Benjamin clinched the title with a season-best time of 3:40.06 on their way to capturing gold.
All in all, the women’s team captured five gold medals, three silvers and two bronze on their way to the team title.
The men’s team ended up finishing in eighth place with 39 points. Jonah Koech was named the Freshman of the Meet for winning gold in the mile run with a time of 4:07.34.
Carnell Horn sprinted to a fifth-place finish in the 400m dash with a time of 48.21 and Sven Zellner capped his season with a sixth-place finish in the 60m hurdles (8.13).
Daniel Cheruiyot (8:26.23/personal best) and Antony Kosgei (8:27.53) each finished seventh and eighth in the 3,000m run.
The men’s 4x400m relay team (Horn, Daniel Tarango, Esteban Montanez and Asa Guevara) closed out the day with its best performance of the season with a time of 3:15.88 to place sixth.
Author: UTEP Athletics