Shakeem Smith | Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics
LUBBOCK – The UTEP track and field team completed its first indoor event with a successful Saturday showing at the Texas Tech Corky Classic in the Sports Performance Center.
Shakeem Smith broke a 20-year old UTEP indoor track and field record, clocking in a personal-best 7.90 in the men’s 60m hurdles and finishing third in the final.
The senior broke Lee Mays’s mark of 7.91. Smith posted a 7.96 in the first round of 60m hurdles, placing first. Smith’s previous was PR was a 7.95 at last year’s Conference USA Championships.
“Typical opener for the season, mixed bag. We got a little bit of everything,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. “The men’s team definitely looked better than a year ago. We even got one school record which is unusual in a first meet of the year. We’re proud of Shakeem Smith, who broke a 20-year old school record in the 60m hurdles.”
The men dominated the 3000m with the top-three finishers. Budding star freshman Titus Cheruiyot took gold, recording a time of 8:42.53. Teammates Rodgers Korir (8:44.44) and Boaz Ronoh (8:47.70) took silver and bronze, respectively.
On the women’s side, Carolyn Chepkosgei raced out to a first-place finish in the women’s 800m, clocking in a time of 2:12.22.
Samantha Cordier registered a personal-best toss of 15.50 in the weight throw, while Chantoba Bright recorded a 12.95 in the triple jump, securing a second-place finish.
Freshman Davion Bynaum, who competed in his first collegiate event, posted a 6.79, finishing tied for sixth in the 60m first round. Bynaum followed with a fifth-place showing in the 60m final, beating his first time with a 6.77.
Freshman Yasmine George also competed in her first collegiate event, finishing seventh in the 400m with a time of 58.44.
Michael Sims clocked personal-best 4:34.72 in the mile. Maribel Caicedo placed seventh in the first round of the women’s 60m hurdles, registering an 8.68 and advancing to the finals.
Emilio Rios tied his personal best with a 1.97 lead in the men’s high jump, while freshman Markiet Loggins recorded the same mark. Austin Ondijo also registered a 1.97.
In the women’s 4x400m, George, along with Madison Gibson, Aphiniti Cupper and Natalia Roberts, posted a 3:58.45, while on the men’s side, Sean Bailey, Jevaughn Powell, James Flournoy and Smith clocked in a 3:16.42 for a seventh-place finish.
“It’s going to be a quick turnaround for us, as we travel to Albuquerque for out next indoor competition this coming Thursday. I’m expecting more of our athletes to get it going there.”
Up next, UTEP will take the track at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate Invitational hosted by New Mexico in Albuquerque on Jan. 24-25.