Sacramento, Ca. – The UTEP track and field team completed day one at the NCAA West Region Preliminary round with four student-athletes making the quarterfinal round on Thursday afternoon in Sacramento.
The first Miner to punch their ticket was Lilian Koech in the 1,500m. Koech finished fourth in her heat with a time of 4:21.51, earning an automatic bid to the next round. She will enjoy a full day’s rest before returning to the track on Saturday for the 1,500m quarterfinal at 7:45 p.m. MT.
Senior Asa Guevara was the next to earn a quarterfinal slot in the men’s 400m. Guevara crossed the finish line to finish third in his heat stopping the clock at 47.03. The Trinidad and Tobago native will return tomorrow and race in the 400m quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m.
In the men’s 800m, mid-distance duo Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech had no issues running their way into the quarterfinal round. Koech won his heat running a time of 1:50.05. Saruni cruised his way to a second-place finish in the second heat with a time of 1:49.53. Both runners will compete on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Competing in the women’s 400m hurdles, Dreshanae Rolle clocked a time of 59.67 just missing out on a qualifying spot.
Donivan Ortega was the lone Miner to compete in any field events, finishing with a mark of 6.94m (22-9.25) in the long jump.
Friday’s schedule will begin at 5:30 p.m. with newcomer Shakeem Smith racing in the 110m hurdles. He will need to place in the top 12 in order to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal race at 8:05 p.m.
Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter an UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live updates and breaking news.