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Home | Tag Archives: utep track and field (page 11)

Tag Archives: utep track and field

UTEP Men’s Track & Field Team Ranks 9th in the Nation

The UTEP men’s indoor track and field team garnered the No. 9 spot in the country announced by the U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) on Monday afternoon.

The Miners crack the top 25 for the second time this season after moving up 10 spots from last weeks rankings.

UTEP is the only school from Conference USA to be ranked inside the top 15. The Miners have a calculated team score of 74.42 points.

Freshman Emmanuel Korir leads the squad. Notching the third-fastest time in the country of 1:46.50, registered at the Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational. Korir holds the fastest-time in school history in the 800 meters.

The distance runner also set a world best in the 600 meters at the Cherry and Silver with a time of 1:14.97.

Fellow freshman, Michael Saruni claims the sixth-fastest time in the 800m finishing closely behind Korir at the New Mexico Classic with a time of 1:46.90.

Sophomore duo, Antony Kosgei and Jonah Koech hold top-50 marks in the country. Koech’s mile run of 4:02.14 ranks No. 41 in the country, while Kosgei’s 3,000m time of 8:04.19 rates 44th.

In the 5,000m, Kosgei set a personal-best 13:50.74 to earn him the 19th best time in the country.

 The 4×400 meter relay ranks No. 33 in the nation with a time of 3:10.45 posted at the New Mexico Cherry & Silver Invitational. Running the relay were James Bias, Asa Guevara, Jonah Koech and Emmanuel Korir.

The Distance Medley relay team of Michael Saruni (1,200m), Asa Guevara (400m), Emmanuel Korir (800m) and Jonah Koech (1,600m) set the nation’s second-fastest time of 9:31.13. The team notched gold at the Music City Challenge barely nudging out Virginia Tech (19:31.15). Oregon holds the number one spot with a time of 9.30.86.

The UTEP track and field team will head to C-USA Indoor Championship this weekend in Birmingham, Ala.

Miners Close Out Regular Season At Don Kirby Invitational

ALBURQUERQUE, N.M. – The UTEP track and field team finish the regular season with a bang at the Don Kirby Invitational on Saturday.

“I was really pleased with the performance of our distance medley relay team, setting a school record and Antony Kosgei and Winny Koech in their performance in Washington,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “Tobi looked impressive and now we need to prepare for the biggest team meet at the conference championships next week.”

Tobi Amusan was the highlight of the day, running a personal best 7.98 in the 60 hurdle semifinals. In the final, Amusan trailed early in the race, but closed the gap to Oregon’s Sasha Wallace for a photo finish.

Both hurdlers achieved the same final time of 7.99 Wallace beating Amusan by one-one thousand of a second (7.986 to 7.987). Amusan now holds the third-fastest time in the nation in the event and shares the school record with Janice Jackson (2014).

In the only field event of the day, Samantha Hall earned 14th overall in the shot put with a toss of 13.51m (44-4.00).

Gladys Jerotich (5:11.75) notched a 15th place showing in the mile run. Kayla Pallares set her personal best with a time of 5:27.33.

Florence Uwakwe placed 14th overall in the 60 meters with a time of 7.59.

Dreshanae Rolle (55.85) set a personal best in the 400 meters, followed by Madison Gibson with a time of 57.27. In the 800 meters, Linda Cheruiyot notched an 11th-place showing with a time of 2:15.42 and Truphena Sum ran 2:21.16 to finish 24th overall.

Daniel Cheruiyot set a personal best in the mile run with a time of 4:18.95 earning 13th overall, teammate Evans Kiprono followed with a time of 4:31.30.

In the 400 meters, Alejandro Alcazar ran his personal-best 50.66, while teammate Yinka Oyebanjo-Odofin ran a season best 51.60.

Friday night held the men’s weight throw with Karol Koncos earning a sixth place finish with a toss of 18.58m (60-11.50). Teammate Kevin Rincon notched 16th overall throwing for 16.01m (52-6.50).

The UTEP track and field team now has their eyes set on the C-USA Indoor Championships held in Birmingham Ala. on Feb. 18-19.

Flyin’ Miners Travel to Three States For Regular-Season Finale

The UTEP track and field team will send its student-athletes to three different meets to wrap up the indoor regular season this weekend.

Five runners will be split between the Husky Classic in Seattle Wash. and the Music City Challenge in Nashville, Tenn., while the of the team will have its final trip to Albuquerque N.M., for the Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational.

Husky Classic

The Husky Classic will feature an elite field of distance runners including UTEP’s Antony Kosgei and Winny Koech in the 5,000m run. Cosmas Boit will compete in the 3,000m on Saturday.

Kosgei, who has the second-fastest time in the 3,000m (8:04.19) in C-USA will compete in his first 5,000m run of the season on Friday. Koech holds the fastest time in the in the conference for the 5,000m after running a personal-best of 16:24.98 at the Commodore Invitational back in January.

Music City Hall Challenge

Competing in their first distance medley relay, Michael Saruni, Asa Guevara, Emmanuel Korir and Jonah Koech will look to qualify for nationals. Saruni will run the first leg (1200m), Guevara the second leg (400m), Korir the third leg (800m) and Koech will anchor (1600m). On Saturday Guevara will compete in the 400m set to start at 11:45 A.M. PT

Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational

Getting the action started Friday will be Connor Graham in the men’s pole vault scheduled at 4:00 p.m MT. In the jumping events, Austin Ondijo and Brandon Moss will compete in the high jump and long jump.

Karol Koncos will compete for just the second time this season in the weight throw after throwing an impressive 19.19m (62-11.5) in his first competition.

In the short sprints, James Bias will look to post a qualifying time for the finals in the 60m dash at 4:15. Donivan Ortega and Yinka Oyebanjo-Odofin will sprint in the 200m dash.

In the mile, run Daniel Cheruiyot (4:23.40) and Evans Kiprono (4:22.43) will look to improve their times after both set personal bests last week.

On the women’s side, Fayon Gonzales (18.33m) holds the fourth-longest throw in C-USA will look to improve her mark. Samantha Hall set her personal-best 14.32m in the shot put New Mexico Classic meet will be in action as well.

Florence Uwakwe (7.54) holds the seventh-fastest time in C-USA, will run in the 60m dash, prelims set to start at 4:30. Mid distance specialist, Imiani Adams and Ada Benjamin will compete in the 600m for the first time this season.

Holding the nation’s sixth-fastest time, Tobi Amusan will look to build on her progress in the 60m hurldes. The sprinter has won two meets in the 60m hurdles this season

In the mile run, Gladys Jerotich, Brittney Adams and Kayla Pallares all look to improve their times at 11:50 am on Saturday.

For live results this weekend, follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter.

Flyin’ Miners Amusan, Saruni Garner Male and Female C-USA Athlete of the Week

Following another impressive performance at the New Mexico Classic, Michael Saruni (800m) and Tobi Amsuan (long jump) were named Conference USA Track Male and Female Athlete of the Week by the league office TuesdayAfternoon.

This is Amusan’s second award of the 2017 indoor season after setting a personal best in the long jump with a mark of 6.15m (20-2.25). Amusan moves into third on the all-time best list in school history.

Freshman Saruni notched his first Athlete of the Week award with an impressive 800m run at the New Mexico Classic. This was Saruni’s first time running the event on a banked 200m track and set a personal best of 1:46.90.

Amusan and Saruni will return to the Albuquerque Convention Center for the Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational this Fridayand Saturday in preporation for the C-USA Indoor Championships Feb. 18-19.

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.

Shattered! UTEP’s Tobi Amusan breaks School Record in the 200m

Albuquerque N.M. – Day one of the New Mexico Classic had sophomore Tobi Amusan absolutely thrilled as she broke the UTEP school record running 22.38 in the 200m dash.

Running in the furthest outside lane Amusan exploded out from the blocks and kept her focus all the way through the race. The record was previously held by Blessing Okagbare with a time of 23.52 (2010). Amusan is now ranked 12th in the nation. In the long jump Amusan hit a mark of 6.15m (20-2.25) in the long jump earning a first-place finish.

Florence Uwakwe notched a seventh-place finish in the 200m running a time of 23.92. Uwakwe also earned a spot in the 60m dash semifinals running a time of 7.52.

In the 60m hurdles Rebecca Oshinbanjo earned a 10th-place showing with a time of 8.69.

Lucia Makrosova competed in the pentathalon, notching fourth place overall with 3,808 points. Makrosova threw for 12.90m (42-4) in the shot put taking first place and giving her the boost she need after three events.

In the 3,000m Gladys Jerotich finished third (10:12.10) and Kayla Pallares trailed behind in 10th (10:46.81). Fayon Gonzales took home a fourth-place finish in the women’s weight throw tossing a mark of 18.33m (60-1.75).

On the men’s side, Asa Guevara ran 21.43 to earn a sixth-place showing in the 200m followed by James Bias with 21.78. Evans Kiprono (8:42.27) and Daniel Cheruiyot (8:45.25) placed fourth and fifth overall in the 3,000m run.

Austin Ondijo earned sixth place in the high jump with a mark of 1.95m (6-4.75). Brandon Moss also earned sixth place in the long jump with a leap of 7.01m (23-0).

Day two resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. MT and live results will be posted on live running

Flyin’ Miners Korir, Amusan Honored; Korir snags National Kudos Again

UTEP’s Emmanuel Korir and Tobi Amusan were named Conference USA Track Male and Female of the Week announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon.

Korir was also named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Athlete of the Week for the second week in a row on Tuesday afternoon.

This is Korir’s second straight C-USA Athlete of the Week honor after setting an all-time world best in the 600m at the Cherry & Silver Invitational.

He set the all-time world best with a time of 1:14.97 in the 600m at the New Mexico Cherry & Silver Collegiate Invitational. This was his first race on a banked 200m indoor track.

FILE: UTEP's Tobi Amusan during the Women's 200 meter dash during the UTEP Invitational 2016
FILE: UTEP’s Tobi Amusan during the Women’s 200 meter dash during the UTEP Invitational 2016

The previous record was held by Germany’s Nico Motchebon (1:15.12) set in 1999.

During the final lap Korir took the lead and finished nearly three seconds before teammate Jonah Koech, who took second place. The record was previously held by Germany’s Nico Motchebon (1:15.12) set in 1999.

Amusan notched a couple first-place finishes over the weekend. In the 60m hurdles, she ran a season-best 8.08, which is also the fifth fastest in the country.

In the 200m the sophomore notched the seventh fastest in the country with a time of 23.5.

This is her first C-USA honor of the season.

The UTEP track team will enjoy their bye week and return to action Friday, Feb. 3rd and 4th at the New Mexico Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.

Flyin’ Miners Complete Day Two of the Cherry & Silver Invitational

Albuquerque N.M. – The UTEP track and field team conclude day two of the Cherry & Silver Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center with a good overall team performance.

“Emmanuel’s (Korir) performance in the 600m was special and Tobi (Amusan) in the hurdles was also impressive,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “This was a decent meet but we have some improving to do heading into our bye week.”

Freshman Michael Saruni set a new personal best in the mile run clocking in at 4:13.40 notching a first-place finish. Antony Kosgei finished not far behind taking home bronze with a time of 4:15.81. Daniel Cheruiyot (4:23.40) finished in 11th place overall.

Asa Guevara ran 47.36 in the 400m sealing a second-place finish. Donivan Ortega competed in the triple jump making the final with a jump of 14.39m (47-2.50) giving him seventh place overall. Kevin Rincon took ninth place in the men’s weight throw with a mark of 15.76m (51-8.50).

Amusan cruised into the finals for the 60m hurdles, where she was pushed to a close finish posting a personal best of 8.08 notching a first-place finish. Her time secured the fifth-fastest time in the nation and second in UTEP history.

In the women’s mile run Linda Cheruiyot pushed her pace late in the last lap to seal a seventh-place finish with a time of 5:04.23. Teammate Truphena Sum (5:22.84) earned 14th overall.

Florence Uwakwe dazzled in the 400m (54.49) earning a second-place finish. Imani Adams and Yanique Bennett finish eighth and 10th, respectively in the event.

The Miners had Samantha Hall and Lucia Mokrasova in the shot put. Hall earned a spot in the finals throwing 13.95m (45-9.25) earning seventh place. Mokrasova finished 11th overall with a throw of 13.04m (42-9.50).

Wearing the Orange and Blue in the 800m were Brittney Adams, Cheruiyot and Sum. Cheruiyot earned a second place showing with a time of 2:16.26. Adams finished 10th with a time of 2:20.23, followed by Sum 2:21.08.

The A team (Bias, Guevara, Koech, Korir) for the men’s 4x400m relay ran 3:10.42 to finish first and the B team (Oyebanjo-Odofin, Alcazar, Horn, Montanez) ran 3:21.90 finishing third. The women’s A team (Gibson, Uwakwe, Adams, Benjamin) finished in first with a time of 3:42.25 and the B team (Bennett, Mokrasova, Molinar, Ramsay) posted a time of 3:53.04 to finish in third.

The Miners will return to the Albuquerque Convention Center next Friday and Saturday for the New Mexico Classic.

UTEP’s Korir Sets World Best in the 600m

Albuquerque  – Emmanuel Korir continues his impressive start to his indoor campaign, setting a world best in the 600m (1:14.97) on Friday night at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The reason why it is not considered a world record is because the 600m is not an official IAAF indoor event.

“Korir is a very special and talented athlete. His best event is the 800 so the 600 is a good prep,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “With his stamina and his speed that’s the end result. I can’t wait to see what he does in the future.”

Heading into todays race, Korir has the nations fastest time in the 800m set last weekend in his collegiate indoor debut. The distance runner started the race in lane four and set a good pace for the first lap. In the final 150 meters he opened up a lead to notch a first-place finish. Teammate Jonah Koech finished in second with a time of 1:17.24.

In the men’s 60m dash Asa Guevara and James bias both qualify for the semifinals tomorrow afternoon. Guevara finished in fifth overall (6.84) and Bias finished in 13th (6.87). Bias also notched a fourth-place finish in 200-meter dash with a time of 21:59.

Donovan Ortega placed 11th overall in the long jump with a leap of 6.82 (22’ 4.50”).

For the women’s side, Tobi Amusan continues to dominate in the 60m hurdles and 200m. She qualified for the 60m hurdles with a personal best of 8.12. She took home gold in the 200m final running 23.56, which is the second-fastest time in school history. Ada Benjamin finished ninth overall with a time of 24.43.

Fayon Gonzales earned a third place finish in the weight throw with a toss of 18.08m (59-4.00) and teammate Abedola Akomolafe finished 11th throwing for 16.15m (53’-0).

The Miners return to action tomorrow with the women’s shot put set for 10:00 a.m. MT and the men’s 60m hurdles established for 10:45 a.m.

For live results please visit

UTEP’s Korir Named C-USA Athlete of the Week; National Athlete of the Week

Freshman Emmanuel Korir was named the Conference USA Track Athlete of the Week as announced by the league office Tuesday afternoon.

In addition to that honor, Korir was also named the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Track Athlete of the Week on Tuesday afternoon.

Korir, a freshman, opened up his 2017 season at the Commodore Invitational hosted by Vanderbilt and clocked a time of 1:46.50 in the 800m. That gave Korir the outright collegiate lead.

The Kenya native now holds the school record previously held by Elias Koech 1:46.77 registered in 2008.

Korir’s time also put him 23rd on the all-time, all-conditions indoor collegiate list.

In one of the most impressive debut’s in UTEP history, Korir started his 2017 indoor season with a bang at the Commodore Invitational held in Nashville Tenn.

The Kenya native posted a time of 1:46.50 in the 800m, which also broke the school record previously held by Elias Koech (2008).

Korir’s time is currently the fastest in the country (first in C-USA) in the event.

The Miners will travel to Albuquerque N.M. this weekend to compete in the Cherry & Silver Invitational.

Flyin’ Miners’ Korir Breaks School Record at Commodore Invitational

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – UTEP freshman Emmanuel Korir took home gold in the 800m running 1:46.50 on Saturday afternoon at the Commodore Invitational breaking the school record in the event.

Elias Koech (2008) previously held the record with a time of 1:46.77 in the event. Korir time also checks in as the top-collegiate time of the season.

“This was a very good race for Korir. He will qualify for internationals with that time,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “I am very proud of both the men’s and women’s performances today. This was a major step in building our confidence for the rest of the season.”

Trailing closely behind Korir was teammate Michael Saruni (1:47.94) who finished second, setting the fourth-fastest time in school history.

Jonah Koech and Antony Kosgie set personal bests in their respective events. Koech dazzled in the mile run (4:02.14) claiming gold. Anthony Kosgei took second in the 3,000m clocking in a time of 8:04.19, while Cosmas Boit finished third with a time of 8:04.59.

On the women’s side, sophomore sensation Tobi Amusan clocked in a first-place finish in the 60m hurdles (8.19) setting a new personal best. Her time is also the third fastest time in school history and fourth fastest collegiate time of the season.

Ada Benjamin performed well in a very competitive 400m field earning fourth place with a time of 54:26.

In what was an eventful first meet for the Miners, a track official choked on her food. Luckily Senior Kevin Rincon was there and well trained in performing the Heimlich Maneuver helping the official through the incident.

The Miners will travel to Albuquerque, N.M. next weekend to compete in the Cherry and Silver Collegiate Invitational.

UTEP Track & Field Completes Day One Of Commodore Invitational

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –The UTEP track & field team opened its 2017 indoor campaign by competing at the Commodore Invitational hosted by Vanderbilt Friday.

On day one of action on the women’s side sophomore duo Winny Koech (16:34.98) claimed gold and Gladys Jerotich (17:02.47) took home bronze while setting personal bests in the 5,000m.

Sophomore All-American Tobi Amusan, who had a stellar 2016 campaign, earned a fifth-place finish in the 200m (24.03). She will look to carry her momentum into Saturday’s race in the 60m hurdles.

Adding to the women’s speed was Florence Uwakwe, who finished in the 200m with a time of 24.52. Uwakwe had a very successful 2016 season earning All-American recognition.

For the men’s side it was senior Evans Kiprono, the only Miner competing the 5,000m, who took home gold by recording his second-best time 14:53.83. Kriprono was only .16 seconds off his personal-best, which he set at the 2016 C-USA Indoor Championships.

The Miners had three freshmen make their indoor collegiate debut and set a personal best in their respective events. In the high jump Austin Ondijo earned an eighth-place finish with a leap of 1.85m (6’ 0.75’’).  Donivan Ortega also claimed eight place with an effort of 7.00m (22’ 11.75’’) in the long jump. Alejandro Alcazar ran his personal best in the 200m (23.02). He will look to set another in Saturday’s 400m.

Action continues Saturday with the first running event starting at 9:00 a.m. and the first field event starting at 10:00 a.m.

For live results and a complete schedule of all events at the Commodore Invitational please visit,

Flyin’ Miners Open Indoor Slate at Commodore Invitational

The UTEP track and field team will open the season at the highly competitive Commodore Invitational hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. On Friday and Saturday.

The Miners will take on Florida, Auburn, LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri, Western Kentucky, Ga Tech, Middle Tennessee and Texas Tech. The two-day meet will open up at 3 p.m. MT on Friday with the men’s and women’s high jump. The running events will begin with the women’s 200m at 6 p.m., which will feature All-Americans Tobi Amusan and Florence Uwakwe.

Last season, Uwakwe claimed the silver medal at the Conference USA in the event posting a season-best time of 23.84. The senior helped the women’s team claim the conference title for the second consecutive year earning points in the 100m dash. The sprinter will be competing in the 60m dash on Saturday at 12:40 p.m. and will be part of the 4x400m relay on Saturday at 3:55 p.m.

Amusan will also compete in the 60m hurdles on Saturday set to beginning at 12 p.m. As a freshman, she sealed the indoor season with a personal-best time of 8.23 claiming the crown at the C-USA Championships. Joining Amusan in the 60m hurdles will be pentathletes Lucia Mokrasova and Rebecca Oshinbanjo. Mokrasova holds the school record in the pentathlon with 3,950 points notched at the Texas A&M Invitational.

During that meet she clocked in a personal best of 8.79 in the 60m hurdles.  Mokrasova, Oshinbanjo and Tyler Ragin will compete in the long jump on Friday at 4 p.m.

Competing in the women’s 400m on Saturday at 2:25 p.m. will be Imani Adams, Ada Benjamin, Yanique Bennett, Madison Gipson and Dreshanae Rolle. Last year, Benjamin ran a second-place finish at the C-USA Championships in the 400m. She opened the season with a season best of 54.43.

Leading the men’s side will be the distance squad, which claimed the 2016 C-USA Cross Country team title. Jonah Koech will be running the mile on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. The All-American sophomore claimed four first-place finishes last season in the mile. He went on to finish sixth overall at the NCAA Championships.

Running in the 3,000m will be Cosmas Boit and Daniel Cheruiyot at 3:40 p.m. on Saturday. Cheruiyot scored points for the Miners at the C-USA Championships in both the 3,000m and 5,000m. Boit helped the distance medley team notch a silver medal at the conference meet in 2016.

For live results and a complete schedule of all events at the Commodore Invitational Click HERE.

Legendary UTEP Coach Ted Banks Passes Away

Ted Banks, who led the UTEP men’s track & field and cross country teams to a combined 17 national titles in nine years (1972-81) as head coach, passed away at his home in Gunter, Texas on Thursday night.  He was 82 years old.

Banks directed the Miners to NCAA outdoor track & field championships in 1975, 1978 (co-championship), 1979, 1980 and 1981.  UTEP captured NCAA indoor track & field crowns in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1981.  The Miners were NCAA cross country champs in 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981.

“Ted Banks was one of the most successful cross country and track coaches in NCAA history,” said UTEP track & field coach Mika Laaksonen.  “His tenure at UTEP is unmatched with achievement by any other coach.”

“He was at the forefront of track and field coaches when he was here at UTEP and certainly determined the direction that we took in distance running in this country,” said former UTEP coach Bob Kitchens.  “He was an exceptional coach.  He is the history of this program.”

Banks was a member of UTEP’s initial Athletic Hall of Fame induction class in 2002.  He was inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2000.

His stint at UTEP also produced 47 NCAA individual champions, 189 All-Americans, 27 Western Athletic Conference men’s team titles (six outdoor track & field, eight indoor track & field, nine cross country) and 152 WAC individual champions.

In 1981 the UTEP men’s cross country team achieved a record-low score of 17 points at the NCAA Championships, only two points shy of a “perfect” score, as Mathews Motshwarateu took first place, Michael Musyoki second, Gabriel Kaman third and Suleiman Nyambui fifth among participating teams.

“We were very fortunate to get 17,” Banks said.  “It was beyond my wildest dreams.  That was the best team I ever had, by far.”

The Miners won NCAA “triple crowns” (cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field) during the 1979-80 and 1980-81 school years.

Banks also coached Olympic medalists Bert Cameron, Keith Connor, Greg Joy, Musyoki and Nyambui while at UTEP.

Banks resigned in February, 1982 to serve as National Director of Running Promotions for Converse, Inc., where he developed the company’s first line of track & field shoes.

He is survived by his wife Judy, three children (Jennifer, Ted and Tom) and two grandchildren (Hunter and Jade Nix).  Hunter Nix played football at UTEP from 2011-13.

UTEP’s Okagbare Advances to Semifinals in Rio

UTEP track & field great Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria) secured a spot in the women’s 200m semifinals after being the front runner in heat five earlier Monday morning at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The sprinter clocked in a time of 22.71, while Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (22.77) placed second to qualify in front of the Bahamas’ Anthoique Strachan (22.96).

The semifinals will be held tomorrow, with Blessing competing in the first heat (lane 6) at 7 p.m. MT.

Blessing will also compete on the women’s long jump qualifications (6 p.m.) tomorrow before the 200m semifinals race.

Also competing tomorrow, UTEP sophomore Tobi Amusan (Nigeria) will race in the women’s 100m hurdles (round 1) at 8:05 a.m., while Miners’ great Churandy Martina will compete in the men’s 200m (round 1) at 8:50 a.m.

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Bordertown Undergroun Show 728
Mountains 728
Amy’s Astronomy
EPCON_2020 728
Utep Football Generic 728
Darrington Park 728