The “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s University Avenue roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange Fridayevening, March 4, 2016, and Saturday evening, March 5, to celebrate two UTEP athletic teams that have won conference titles.
The March 4 special lighting will be in honor of The University of Texas at El Paso women’s cross country team, which claimed the 2016 Conference USA indoor track championship title for the second year in a row with 120 points on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016.
“The coaching staff is very proud of our girls and they had to work really hard for this title,” Conference USA Head Coach of the Year Mika Laaksonen said. “Nothing was handed to us, we had some challengers that we fought off all day long … I couldn’t more proud of the team.”
On March 5, the special lighting will recognize the UTEP women’s basketball team, which claimed the regular season Conference USA title after beating Charlotte 94-91 in double overtime on Saturday, Feb. 27.
“I’m really proud of our players for protecting our home court,” UTEP head coach Keitha Adams said after the Miners completed the home portion of their schedule at a flawless 16-0. “That’s why I let them cut the nets, because they protected the home court the whole year. They earned it and got the championship outright. I’m just really happy for our players.”
“Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the UTEP campus. At night, orange lights illuminate the steel structure while light from LEDs emanate from the perforated “ones” and “zeroes” at each end of the pick.
On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange. Learn more about the statue and its artist at miningminds.utep.edu