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Four Miners to Compete at NCAA Championships

The UTEP track and field program will have four athletes competing at the 2016 NCAA Championships this week in Eugene, Ore.; Jonah Koech (800m run), Tobi Amusan (100m hurdles), Florence Uwakwe (400m dash) and Lucia Mokrasova (heptathlon) will be representing the Orange and Blue.

The four-day event will be broadcasted on the ESPN networks. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will share the coverage that will feature every event contested.

UTEP's Tobi Amusan during the Women's 200 meter dash during the UTEP Invitational 2016
UTEP’s Tobi Amusan during the Women’s 200 meter dash during the UTEP Invitational 2016

TOBI AMUSAN | FRESHMAN | HURDLES

The freshman hurdler enters the NCAA Championships with the fourth fastest time in the country with a time of 12.83 that she clocked at the UTEP Invitational (April 30th). The Nigeria native qualified for the NCAA Championships at the NCAA West Preliminaries with a time of 13.02 to easily win her heat.

As a UTEP Miner, Amusan has yet to lose a 100m hurdle race to a collegiate athlete; she is unblemished in her seven races thus far.

The time of 12.83 she clocked was the second-fastest time ever ran by an athlete under the age of 20 and it ranks No. 1 in the world for 2016 on the U20 circuit. It set a school record and is currently the 17th fastest time in the world for all athletes. Amusan currently has the fastest time for the country of Nigeria in 2016 and her time of 12.83 is an African Junior record.

The school record holder will compete in the semifinals for the 100m hurdles on Thursday at 6:32 p.m. MT on ESPN. A total of eight runners out of the 24 will advance to the finals.

Three heats will be held (eight athletes in each heat) and the top two finishers from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance.

UTEPs Jonah Koech (left)
UTEPs Jonah Koech (left)

JONAH KOECH | FRESHMAN | 800M RUN

The two-time All American will look to become the first freshman since Suleiman Nyambui (1979) to earn All-America honors three times as a freshman. Koech has already been named an All American for cross country and indoors (mile run).

Koech qualified to the NCAA Championships at the NCAA West Preliminaries by knocking off 2015 All-American Collins Kibet (Arizona) in his 800m run heat with a time of 1:49.89.

Koech’s season best time of 1:46.84 he ran at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge ranks third fastest in program history and 15th nationally. Koech will attempt to become the first runner since Elias Koech (2008) to earn First Team All American honors in the 800m run.

The Kenyan native will race in the semifinals on Wednesday evening at 7:14 p.m. MT on ESPN or ESPN2 (dependent on the outcome of the Women’s College World Series). A total of eight runners out of the 24 will advance to the finals.

Three heats will be held (eight athletes in each heat) and the top two finishers from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance.

UTEP's Florence Uwakwe during the 400 meters during the UTEP Invitational 2016
UTEP’s Florence Uwakwe during the 400 meters during the UTEP Invitational 2016

FLORENCE UWAKWE | JUNIOR | 400M DASH

The seasoned junior sprinter will enter the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career as an individual. As a freshman, she traveled to Eugene as a member of the women’s 4x100m relay squad that placed 17th. She captured the 12th and final qualifying spot at the NCAA West Preliminaries with a time of 54.11.

She won three individual races during the outdoor slate including her season-best mark of 53.13 in the 400m dash at the UTEP Invitational as well as helping the women’s 4x100m relay squad claim two golds.

The last woman for UTEP to be named an All American in the 400m dash was Charmaine Crooks (1984).

Uwakwe will compete in the semifinals on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. MT on ESPN. A total of eight runners out of the 24 will advance to the finals.

Three heats will be held (eight athletes in each heat) and the top two finishers from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance.

UTEP's Lucia Mokrasova
UTEP’s Lucia Mokrasova

LUCIA MOKRASOVA | SOPHOMORE | HEPTATHLON

Mokrasova will be competing in the heptathlon on Friday and Saturday morning for the Miners.

The sophomore is already the school record holder in the event; earlier this season at the Texas Relays, she scored 5,616 points breaking Jallycia Pearson’s (5,576 points) previous record.

That point total for Mokrasova ranks her 18th nationally headed into the competition. The Slovakia native scored in three events for the Miners at the Conference USA Championships in May.

UTEP has never had an female athlete be named an All American in the heptathlon.

All of the action in the heptathlon will be covered via a stream on WatchESPN.com

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