Sacramento, Ca. – UTEP’s sophomore Michael Saruni and junior Jonah Koech dominated the men’s 800m by earning a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday.
“Both Saruni and Koech got the job done,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “They didn’t leave anything to chance and executed their race.”
Koech got out early to lead the pack with Saruni trailing behind in the middle of the group. Saruni used a late kick at the end to push himself ahead of the field to finish with a winning time of 1:46.37. Koech crossed the finish line in third place stopping the clock at 1:47.05.
Both Miners will move on to Eugene, Ore. for the NCAA Championships on June 6-9.
In the 400m, senior Asa Guevara sprinted notching a time of 46.37 and just narrowly missing out on a bid to the NCAA Championships. Guevara finished his career at UTEP earning spots on the all-time list in the 200m (20.51) and 400m (45.26).
“Asa ran a great race and tried to put himself in a position to advance to the NCAA Championships and came up just shy,” Laaksonen said. “He had a great career with us and we will sorely miss him.”
Newcomer Shakeem Smith moves on to the 110m hurdle quarterfinals on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. MT. Smith clocked a time of 14.19 to finish fourth in his heat. The Bahamas native will need a top-12 finish in order to move on to the NCAA Championships.
Also competing on Saturday will be Lilian Koech in the 1,500m. Koech advanced to the quarterfinals on Thursday with a time of 4:21.51. The Kenya native will race at 7:45 p.m.
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