The UTEP track and field team will look to have its best performance of the indoor campaign this week at the Conference USA Championships held at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
The C-USA Championships will start on Wednesday and conclude Thursday.
The women’s team will look to defend its team title from a year ago when they tallied 122 points, and outscored the second-place team by more than 30 points. The men’s team, who finished third last year, lost a plethora of athletes, but they will do their best to score as many points as possible.
Lilian Koech will lead the charge for the women. Koech will be running in three races in which she holds top conference marks. She ranks first in the mile (4:44.71) and the 3,000m run (9:31.88) and has the third-fastest 800m time (2:10.96).
Senior Nickevea Wilson, who has the ninth-best triple jump in the nation, will look to cap off her indoor career by reclaiming the triple jump title. She won it as a sophomore and finished second last year as a junior. Wilson will also be doing the long jump.
The dynamic sprint duo of Ada Benjamin (400m dash) and Florence Uwakwe (60m dash/200m dash) will run their respective events; Benjamin’s 400m time of 54.14 ranks first in C-USA and Uwakwe’s 200m time of 24.41 ranks fifth.
In the throws, Fayon Gonzales (#5 C-USA) and Adebola Akomolafe (#7 C-USA) will be competing in the weight throw fighting for crucial points. Samantha Hall launched a personal best of 14.21m at the Don Kirby Invitational and that mark ranks second in C-USA.
Lucia Mokrasova has the No. 1 pentathlon score in conference; her 3,950 points she scored at the Texas A&M Invitational is the UTEP school record. Rebecca Oshinbanjo will compete in her first full pentathlon this year.
Israel Ramsay will compete in her first high jump event of the year. Ramsay placed sixth at last year’s conference meet by clearing 1.69m.
The Miners will send three runners to the line in the 60m hurdles. Brittney Trought (8.36/#1), Tobi Amusan (8.37/#2) and Bria Love (8.68/#8) have three of the top eight marks in C-USA.
Distance runners Gladys Jerotich and Winny Koech will both run the 3,000m and 5,000m races in hopes of racking up more points. Koech has the second-fastest 3,000m time in conference and the third-quickest 5,000m run.
Jonah Koech will headline the men’s effort and look to become the C-USA Freshman of the Meet. The Kenyan will run the 800m and the mile. Koech’s mile time of 3:58.13 currently ranks 13th in the country, which would qualify him for the NCAA Championships.
Daniel Tarango will take the sixth-fastest 800m run time in conference into action and Carnell Horn (48.12) has the fourth-fastest 400m dash in conference.
Kevin Rincon has the eighth-longest weight throw in conference when he recorded a mark of 16.21m at the Don Kirby Invitational. Sven Zellner’s 60m hurdle time of 8.09 seconds is the fifth-quickest in C-USA.
Distance runners Cosmas Boit, Antony Kosgei and Evans Kiprono will all run the 3,000m run. Kosgei (14:21.85) and Kiprono (14:56.73), who have the second and seventh fastest marks in conference, will also run the 5,000m race.
You can follow the action on Twitter @UTEPTrack or at www.flashresults.com
Author: UTEP Athletics