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Flyin’ Miners Gonzales, Zellner and Montanez Named to the Conference USA All Academic Team

Irving, Texas – The UTEP track and field team had three athletes named to the Conference USA All Academic Team on Friday afternoon. Fayon Gonzales (3.66 GPA/Kinesiology), Sven Zellner (3.82 GPA/Mechanical Engineering) and Esteban Montanez (3.83 GPA/Electrical Engineering) were all awarded for their prowess in the classroom and success on the track and field.

“It’s a great accomplishment for these three individuals and it speaks to how solid our academic program is,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “We have a very good academic support system and our coaches stay on top of our athletes to make sure they get the work done. The main reason they come to UTEP is to graduate, so I’m proud of these athletes and what they have achieved.”

UTEP's Sven Zellner during the Men's 110m Hurdles
UTEP’s Sven Zellner during the Men’s 110m Hurdles

Zellner is now a two-time member of the C-USA All Academic Team. The Germany native has participated in all 12 events this year for the Orange and Blue.

The senior picked up a sixth-place showing in the 60m hurdles at the 2016 C-USA Indoor Championships. H

e also ran the best 110m hurdle time of his career at the UTEP Springtime with a time of 14.07.

Zellner is slated to compete in the 110m hurdles tomorrow at the NCAA West Preliminaries.

Gonzales is a first-time honoree of the C-USA All Academic Team. She competed in 11 events

Photo Courtesy UTEP
Photo Courtesy UTEP

this spring and scored points in UTEP’s second straight women’s indoor title.

She placed fourth in the weight throw at the 2016 C-USA Indoor Championships with a personal best throw of 17.80m. During the outdoor slate, she also collected personal bests in the discus throw (47.10m) and the hammer throw (54.83m).

The Jamaica native also registered a fourth-place finish in the javelin throw at the 2016 C-USA Outdoor Championships with a mark of 40.33m.

UTEP's Esteban Montanez during the Men's 400 meters during the UTEP Invitational 2016
UTEP’s Esteban Montanez during the Men’s 400 meters during the UTEP Invitational 2016

Montanez is a first-time nominee as well. The El Paso native competed in 10 meets this spring.

He was the first leg of the men’s 4x400m relay that took gold at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge with a time of 3:11.14.

Recorded a personal best 400m dash time of 48.70 to take sixth at the UTEP Invitational.

He was the lead leg of the men’s 4x400m relay team that took silver at the 2016 C-USA Outdoor Championships.

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