Sean Bailey | Photo courtesy MT Athletics
The UTEP track and field team will compete in 13 events at the NCAA West Preliminaries on May 26-29 at E.B. Cushing Stadium in College Station, Texas.
“We are very pleased to have such a potent group of athletes to qualify to compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships First Round for us,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said.
“It will be head-to-head competition and quite a pressure cooker. Seasonal marks reset and you have to get it done on that day. The top 12 in each event will advance and I do believe every one of our student-athletes have a chance to advance when performing at their best. We’re excited about the opportunity!”
Traveling for the UTEP men are Sean Bailey (400m, 4×400), Paulo Benavides (pole vault), Kevin Hewitt (4×400), Joshua Hill (4×400), Aleks Hristov (discus), Dennis Johnson (100m), Karol Koncos (hammer throw), Jevaughn Powell (200m, 4×400), Shakeem Smith (110m hurdles, 400m hurdles), and Ishmel Williams (high jump). Ned Azemia and Chevannie Hanson will serve as alternates for the 4x400m relay team.
On the women’s side, Maribel Caicedo (100m hurdles), Denae McFarlane (100m) and Roosa Yloenen (javelin) will compete for the Miners.
Smith, who gathered up a trio of gold medals at the Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, will compete in the 110m and 400m hurdles. The senior broke a 21-year old C-USA record in the 400m hurdles when he clocked in a personal-best 49.82 – ranked eighth in the West. Smith set another personal best in the 110m hurdles with a time of 13.73 (15th in the West). In the first round, Smith will run the 110m hurdles on May 26 at 5 p.m. MT, and the 400m hurdles at 7:20 p.m. MT.
Bailey will run the 400m dash and 4×400. The senior claimed gold in the 400m at the C-USA Championships, clocking in a season-best 45.24, while ranks third in the West. Bailey and the Miners also capped the conference meet by crossing the finish line first in the 4x400m relay. In the first round, Bailey will compete in the 400m dash on May 26 at 6:25 p.m. MT.
Benavides won gold at the conference championships, clearing the bar with a season-best mark 5.36m (17-7), ranking 17th in the West. In the first round, Benavides will compete on May 26 at 2 p.m. MT.
Johnson clocked in a 10.25w (3.2) at the Don Kirby Tailwind, it was converted to a 10.28, which ranks 25th in the West. In the first round, Johnson will run the 100m on May 26 at 6 p.m. MT.
Williams set a personal-best 2.09m (6-10.25) mark in the high jump at the C-USA Championships. The freshman just qualified for regionals, ranking 47th in the West. Williams will jump in the first round on May 28 at noon MT.
Hristov also set his PR at the conference meet, hurling a 56.54m (185-6) in the discus and winning bronze. The freshman’s mark ranks 22nd. Hristov will compete in the first round on May 28 at 12:30 p.m. MT.
Koncos’s personal-best 65.59m (215-2) mark in the hammer was set at the Don Kirby Tailwind. The hammer event took place at Kidd Field on the UTEP campus. Koncos will compete in the first round on May 26 at 12:30 p.m. MT.
The men’s 4x400m relay team, composed of Bailey, Hewitt, Powell and Hill, will run in the quarterfinals on May 28 at 8:15 p.m. MT.
McFarlane set her personal best at the C-USA Championships, turning in an 11.52 (33rd in the West) in the 100m and winning silver. The freshman will compete in the first round on May 27 at 6 p.m. MT.
Caicedo posted a 13.51 (40th in the West) at the Roadrunner Invitational. The sophomore will run in the first round on May 27 at 5 p.m. MT.
Yloenen launched her personal-best mark of 53.89m (176-10) at the Desert Heat Classic. The sophomore will compete in the first round of the javelin on May 27 at 12:30 p.m. MT.
Live West Preliminary round web streaming coverage will be available at the following links:
- West Prelim: