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Home | Tag Archives: Jonah Koech

Tag Archives: Jonah Koech

Miners Garner Two All-American Honors at the NCAA Championships

Eugene, Or. – UTEP’s sophomore Michael Saruni and junior Jonah Koech earned All-American honors in the 800m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday night.

“Sometimes your best is not enough and today was one of those days for Saruni,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “He is young and unbelievably talented so he will learn from this. Jonah ran his best 800m and gained plenty of confidence from today’s race. We are so proud of these guys.”

Having to fight against tough weather conditions, both Miners kept pace with the pack of runners throughout the first lap. Heading into the final 200m, Saruni opened a gap before being passed by Isaiah Harris (Penn St.) in the final 15m. The sophomore crossed the finish line at 1:43.31, earning a bronze-medal finish. Koech stopped the clock at 1:46.23 to finish sixth overall.

Saruni and Koech combined to score nine points for the Miners and earn All-American Honors.

Saruni finished his season with a number of accolades, which include posting the NCAA 800m record 1:43.25 at the Desert Heat Classic, clocking a world-best 1:14.79 in the 600m, claiming the NCAA indoor title in the 800m, set the No. 2 NCAA indoor time in the 800m (1:45.15) and posting two school records in the 800m (indoor and outdoor).

Koech finished the 2018 campaign with two Conference USA outdoor titles in the 1,500m and 800m and an indoor conference title in the mile.

Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live updates and breaking news.

Saruni and Koech Advance to 800m Final

Eugene, Or. – UTEP’s Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech punched their tickets to the 800m final at the NCAA Championships on Wednesday night.

“This was the best possible outcome for us,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “Both got through from the heat that had by far the most talent in the field. We are very excited about Friday’s final, it will be one to watch.”

Saruni made his second consecutive appearance at the national championship stage in the 800m and cruised his way to a first-place finish in the first heat, clocking a time of 1:46.98. His time ranks as the second-fastest qualifying time among the eight other finalists.

Koech sprinted to a third-place finish in the first heat with a qualifying time of 1:47.28. The junior is making his first career appearance in the 800m final.

Both Miners will compete in Friday’s final at 7:45 p.m. MT. The action will be broadcasted live on ESPN.

Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live results and breaking news.

Saruni, Koech Prepped for NCAA Outdoor Championships

UTEP’s Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech head to the pacific northwest for the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on June 6 through 9.

This will be the second consecutive appearance Saruni at the NCAA Championships. Last year, the sophomore finished eighth overall after colliding with former teammate Emmanuel Korir. The Kenya native has since then improved over the season, claiming the NCAA Indoor title in the 800m by clocking the No. 2 time in NCAA history at 1:45.15.

His time ranks just behind his coach Paul Ereng (Virginia, 1989) at 1:45.84.

Over the outdoor season, Saruni set the NCAA 800m record at the Desert Heat Classic with a time of 1:43.25. His time broke a two-year stand by Donavan Brazier (Texas A&M, 1:45.55).

Koech will make his second career trip to the national stage in the 800m. During his freshman year he finished ninth overall on the way to earning second team All-American honors. Koech captured the Conference USA indoor title in the mile while placing second in the 800m, tying Saruni with 18 points scored.

The junior notched two conference outdoor titles, doing so in the 1,500m and pulling a surprising upset over Saruni in the 800m, to lead the Miners with 20 points.

Both Miners will compete in the first heat of the semifinals on Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. MT. There will be three heats of eight runners; the top-two finishers from each heat will earn an automatic spot in Friday’s final with the next two best times completing the final field of eight runners.

The 800m final will start at 7:45 p.m. on Friday.

Be sure to follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live updates and breaking news.

Miners Advance to NCAA Indoor Championship Finals

College Station, Texas – UTEP’s Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech both advanced to the final at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships in their respective events on Friday afternoon in College Station, Texas.

“We had two guys here with a main goal which was to advance to the finals,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “They both got the job done and now can focus on tomorrow’s race where anything can happen.”

Koech notched a fourth-place finish in the mile preliminaries with a time of 4:04.76. The Kenya native clocked the third-fastest time in the country (3:55.81) this year at the Don Kirby Elite. The junior was able to clinch an automatic qualifying spot into Saturday’s final starting at 3:10 p.m. MT.

Saruni secured his spot in the 800m final by clocking a time of 1:47.95 garnering a fourth-place finish in his heat. The Kenyan native holds the no. 2 NCAA all-time best 800m time of 1:44.89 just behind his coach Paul Ereng (1:44.84, 1989). The sophomore will compete in the 800m final on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Fans can watch coverage of both days on the ESPN network and follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter and UTEPTRACK on Instagram for live updates and breaking news.

Jonah Koech Garners C-USA Athlete of the Week

UTEP’s Jonah Koech was named Conference USA Athlete of the Week for his performance in the mile run at the Don Kirby Invitational, it was announced by the league office Tuesday morning.

The Kenya native took home gold in the mile running a time of 4:01.06. Running at an elevated altitude, his time converts to 3:55.81, ranking him first in the league and third in the nation.

This marks his first weekly honor of the season.

For each individual event contested, the top 16 qualifying times will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships held this year in College Station, Texas.

Up next for the Miners will be a trip to Birmingham, Ala., for the C-USA Championships on Feb. 17-18.

Five Miners Headed to College Station For NCAA Championships

Tobi Amusan, Michael Saruni, Emmanuel Korir, Asa Guevara and Jonah Koech all qualified to compete at the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas, March 10-11, in their respective events.

Amusan will be the lone Miner from the women’s team that just captured their third consecutive Conference USA championship. The sophomore will compete in the 60m hurdles set for 6:50 p.m. CT Friday March 10.

Amusan ranks fifth in the nation posting a time of 8.00. At the Don Kirby Invitational held in Albuquerque, N.M. Amusan faced off against Sasha Wallace from Oregon, who ranks No. 1 in the nation and tied for first in a fantastic photo finish.

In the mile, run Koech will take the track at 5:45 p.m. Friday. The long distance runner ranks seventh in the nation with a time of 3:57.30. The top 8 qualifiers will race in Saturday’s final at 4:10 p.m.

Mid distance duo Korir and Saruni will compete in the 800m Friday at 7:20 p.m. Korir ranks first in the nation with Saruni close behind at the number three spot. Korir had set the nation’s fastest time (1:46.15) in his indoor season debut at the Commodore invitational in Nashville, Tenn.

Saruni took gold at the C-USA indoor championships and looks to carry that momentum to College Station.

The distance medley relay team of Asa Guevara, Saruni, Korir and Koech qualified with the nation’s tenth best time running 9:31.13. The final race will be Friday at 8:55 p.m. with 12 schools competing in two heats.

Follow @UTEPTrack for live updates of the races and action on twitter.

UTEP’s Emmanuel Korir and Jonah Koech Shine on Day Two of New Mexico Classic

Albuquerque N.M. – Emmanuel Korir and Jonah Koech blew past the competition as they set the fastest time in the nation in their respective events. Korir ran a time of 1:46.15 in the 800m, while Koech recorded a time of 3:55.50 in the mile in the New Mexico Classic at the Albuquerque Convention center.

“They both are young and are still learning. I don’t know how fast they are going to run this year but it’s going to be something special.” Head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “This was really our tuneup for conference even though it’s two weeks away. Today everyone looked like they are where they need to be.”

In the 800m, Michael Saruni (1:46.31) notched second place and has the second fastest time in the nation. Koror improves his time in the 800m after  setting his previous personal best (1:46.50) back Jan. 13 at the Commodore Invitational.

Former UTEP athlete and NCAA Champion Anthony Rotich helped set the blazing pace along with Jonah Koech in the mile run. Koech rode alongside Rotich setting themselves apart from the rest of the field by 50 meters. Going in to the final lap, Rotich backed off the gas and Koech did not skip a beat pushing through to finish 3:55.50, the fastest time in the nation.

Antony Kosgei, who finished second 4:05.95) and Cosmas Boit, a 13th-place finisher (4:17.97) trailed behind Koech in the mile run.

In the men’s field events, Donivan Ortega earned a fourth-place showing in the long jump with a mark of 14.80m (48-6.75). Karol Koncos made his Miner debut and threw for an impressive 19.19m (62-11.50) to finish fifth overall.

On the women’s side, Ada Benjamin took home gold in the 400m with a time of 54.72 and Dreshannae Rolle finished 13th overall with a time of 56.48.

Four Miners competed in the mile run. Winny Koech (4:51.92) placed fourth and behind her was Linda Cheruiyot (4:52.76) in fifth. Gladys Jerotich (5:03.58) and Truphena Sum (5:11.32) placed ninth and 13th overall.

In the 800m Linda Cheruiyot ran 2:16.23 to finish in fifth place and Brittney Adams finished seventh overall with a time of 2:17.14.

Samantha Hall threw a new personal-best of 14.32m (46-11.75) in the shot put to notch a seventh-place finish.

Next week the Miners will return for their final meet in the Albuquerque Convention Center at the Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational.

UTEP Track’s Koech’s Season Comes to an End

Eugene, Ore. – Jonah Koech’s freshman year came to an end Wednesday evening at the NCAA Championships in the 800m run.

The native Kenyan clocked a personal best time of 1:46.53 in his heat to miss qualifying for the finals by one spot.

“He ran a personal record at the National Championships and you can’t ask for anymore than that,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “He was an All American in cross country and indoors, and he competed at the championships in outdoors; I don’t know what more you can ask of from a freshman.”

The time of 1:45.53 ranks third fastest in UTEP program history and Koech wraps up his freshman campaign having won five races during the outdoor slate. He collected 18 points for the Miners at the Conference USA Championships on his way to earning Freshmen of the Meet honors as well.

Tobi Amusan (100m hurdles/6:32 p.m. MT) and Florence Uwakwe (400m dash/7:00 p.m. MT) will be in action this evening on ESPN in their semifinal races.

UTEP’s Koech Named Conference USA Male Track Performer of the Meet

Irving, Texas – Jonah Koech’s gold finish in the 1,500m run and silver in the 800m run at the Conference USA Championships was enough to garner the respect of Conference USA head coaches around the league for Male Track Performer of the Meet honors on Friday.

Koech took gold in the 1,500m run on his way to setting a C-USA meet record with a time of 3:43.39. The Kenya native used excellent strategy and utilized a devastating kick in the final 100 meters to surpass MTSU’s Eliud Rutto for glory.

The freshman returned to the track a little under two hours later and competed in the 800m run. This time it was Rutto holding off Koech for gold, but the mid-distance star took silver with a time of 1:50.00.

Koech earned UTEP a total of 18 team points with his first and second-place showings and he was also named Freshman of the Meet.

Koech will spring back into action next weekend at the NCAA West Preliminaries in the 800m run. He will need to finish in the top 12 of that event to advance to the NCAA Championships. He will have the sixth-fastest seed time (1:46.84) headed into the competition.

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