The UTEP track and field team is geared up for the 2019 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday and Sunday.
The meet will kick off on Saturday at 8:15 a.m. MT with the pentathlon. Rebecca Oshinbanjo will represent the Miners in the pentathlon and will also take the track in the 60m hurdles prelims at 3:55 p.m. The pentathlon will included the 60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800m.
On the field Saturday, Etamar Bhastekar will compete in the pole vault at 3 p.m. The sophomore currently ranks fourth in the league with a personal-best clearance of 5.18m, which was registered at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational (Feb. 9).
Teammate Karol Koncos will take the field at the same time in the men’s weight throw. The sophomore missed last indoor season due to an injury, but has made his way to the top of the leaderboard by rating fourth in C-USA. The thrower has posted two second-place finishes and one win during the regular season. His season-best mark is 18.87m, recorded at the New Mexico Classic (Feb. 2).
Freshman standout Chantoba Bright will be competing in the second flight of the long jump at approximately 3 p.m. In her first indoor season, Bright has made a name for herself by ranking fifth and sixth in the UTEP record book in the long and triple jump, respectively. The jumper also ranks third in C-USA in the long jump with a mark of 6.14m notched at the Don Kirby (Feb. 9). The freshman will return on Sunday to compete in the triple jump at 1 p.m. She currently sits in the No. 3 spot in the event with a leap of 12.77m, which was set at the New Mexico Classic.
On the men’s side, Darius King will be the only Miner competing in the long jump at 5:30 p.m. and triple jump on Sunday at 10 a.m.
On Saturday, the running events will start with the women’s mile trials at 3:15 p.m., which will feature Lilian Koech and Carolyne Chepkosgei. The duo returns to the track after a stellar showing at the Vanderbilt Music City Challenge. Koech and Chepkosgei hold the top-two spots in C-USA in the mile. They also rate second and third in the league in the 800m. They will return to the track in the 800m trials at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday. The finals for the mile and 800m will take place on Sunday at 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively. On Sunday, both will race in the 3,000m at 2:15 p.m.
Four Miners (Carshaylah Harrison, Oshinbanjo, Kimisha Chambers and Maribel Caicedo) will take the track in the women’s 60m hurdles prelims at 3:55 p.m. Chambers leads the group, ranking fourth in C-USA with a mark of 8.49 registered at the season opener. Senior Oshinbanjo trails closely behind, rating seventh in the league in the event. The top individual from each heat plus the next five best times will advance to the finals on Sunday at 12:40 p.m.
In the evening, UTEP will race in the men’s 400m prelims which are set to start at 4:50 p.m. Junior Sean Bailey heads into the race ranked third in C-USA and 42nd nationally with a time of 46.86. The top eight times will advance to the finals on Sunday at 1 p.m. The sprinter will also compete in the men’s 200m on Saturday at 6 p.m. It will be the first time this indoor season that Bailey races in the 200m.
On Sunday, the meet will resume with the men’s shot put at 10 a.m. Freshman Iason Machairas and sophomore Benjamin Coronado will represent the Orange and Blue. Machairas rates third in C-USA with a toss of 17.26m, which was posted at the New Mexico Classic (Feb. 2). Teammate Coronado checks in at sixth in the league with a mark of 15.75m.
The C-USA Championships will conclude with the men’s and women’s 4x400m relays, which are set to start at 2:40 p.m.
Live coverage and live results will be available on championship central. On Sunday, coverage will be streamed on CUSA.TV and will switch to ESPN+ starting at 1 p.m.