The UTEP track and field program will have a strong presence at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, with current Miner Tobi Amusan (Nigeria-100m hurdles) and former Miner greats Churandy Martina (Netherlands-100m and 200m) and Blessing Okagbare (Nigeria-100m, 200m and long jump) set to represent their countries on the world’s biggest stage from Aug. 12-21.
Prior to Rio the rising sophomore Amusan is set to compete at the World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Friday.
Amusan, the under-20 world leader in 100m hurdles in 2016 looks to be in good standings heading into the prelims. She crossed the line in a wind-aided 12.79 seconds to take second place at the 2016 NCAA Championships onJune 13.
Martina, fresh off becoming the first Dutchman since 1938 to take gold in the 100m at the European Athletic Championships, will be appearing in his fourth Olympic Games.
Netherland’s flag bearer for the opening ceremonies in both 2004 and 2008, Martina will run in the 100m and 200m. Netherlands has also qualified in the 4x100m relay, and he is a good candidate to be a part of that unit.
Martina, who signed a pro contract in July 2006, made his lone year at UTEP memorable. He helped the 400-meter relay squad to a third-place result at the 2006 NCAA Outdoor championships.
As an individual, he took fourth in the 200m dash and sixth in the 100m.
Okagbare, who earned a bronze medal in the long jump at the 2008 Summer Games, is making her third appearance at the Olympics. She is entered to race in the 100m, 200m while also participating in the long jump. Nigeria’s 4x100m relay unit has also punched its ticket to the Olympics, and Okagbare will be in consideration to race with it.
Okagbare enjoyed a decorated career with the Orange and Blue, winning four individual national titles and 14 individual Conference USA crowns. She was also an 11-time American.
The UTEP track and field program will have four athletes competing at the 2016 NCAA Championships this week in Eugene, Ore.; Jonah Koech (800m run), Tobi Amusan (100m hurdles), Florence Uwakwe (400m dash) and Lucia Mokrasova (heptathlon) will be representing the Orange and Blue.
The four-day event will be broadcasted on the ESPN networks. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will share the coverage that will feature every event contested.
TOBI AMUSAN | FRESHMAN | HURDLES
The freshman hurdler enters the NCAA Championships with the fourth fastest time in the country with a time of 12.83 that she clocked at the UTEP Invitational (April 30th). The Nigeria native qualified for the NCAA Championships at the NCAA West Preliminaries with a time of 13.02 to easily win her heat.
As a UTEP Miner, Amusan has yet to lose a 100m hurdle race to a collegiate athlete; she is unblemished in her seven races thus far.
The time of 12.83 she clocked was the second-fastest time ever ran by an athlete under the age of 20 and it ranks No. 1 in the world for 2016 on the U20 circuit. It set a school record and is currently the 17th fastest time in the world for all athletes. Amusan currently has the fastest time for the country of Nigeria in 2016 and her time of 12.83 is an African Junior record.
The school record holder will compete in the semifinals for the 100m hurdles on Thursday at 6:32 p.m. MT on ESPN. A total of eight runners out of the 24 will advance to the finals.
Three heats will be held (eight athletes in each heat) and the top two finishers from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance.
JONAH KOECH | FRESHMAN | 800M RUN
The two-time All American will look to become the first freshman since Suleiman Nyambui (1979) to earn All-America honors three times as a freshman. Koech has already been named an All American for cross country and indoors (mile run).
Koech qualified to the NCAA Championships at the NCAA West Preliminaries by knocking off 2015 All-American Collins Kibet (Arizona) in his 800m run heat with a time of 1:49.89.
Koech’s season best time of 1:46.84 he ran at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge ranks third fastest in program history and 15th nationally. Koech will attempt to become the first runner since Elias Koech (2008) to earn First Team All American honors in the 800m run.
The Kenyan native will race in the semifinals on Wednesday evening at 7:14 p.m. MT on ESPN or ESPN2 (dependent on the outcome of the Women’s College World Series). A total of eight runners out of the 24 will advance to the finals.
Three heats will be held (eight athletes in each heat) and the top two finishers from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance.
FLORENCE UWAKWE | JUNIOR | 400M DASH
The seasoned junior sprinter will enter the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career as an individual. As a freshman, she traveled to Eugene as a member of the women’s 4x100m relay squad that placed 17th. She captured the 12th and final qualifying spot at the NCAA West Preliminaries with a time of 54.11.
She won three individual races during the outdoor slate including her season-best mark of 53.13 in the 400m dash at the UTEP Invitational as well as helping the women’s 4x100m relay squad claim two golds.
The last woman for UTEP to be named an All American in the 400m dash was Charmaine Crooks (1984).
Uwakwe will compete in the semifinals on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. MT on ESPN. A total of eight runners out of the 24 will advance to the finals.
Three heats will be held (eight athletes in each heat) and the top two finishers from each heat plus the next two fastest times will advance.
LUCIA MOKRASOVA | SOPHOMORE | HEPTATHLON
Mokrasova will be competing in the heptathlon on Friday and Saturday morning for the Miners.
The sophomore is already the school record holder in the event; earlier this season at the Texas Relays, she scored 5,616 points breaking Jallycia Pearson’s (5,576 points) previous record.
That point total for Mokrasova ranks her 18th nationally headed into the competition. The Slovakia native scored in three events for the Miners at the Conference USA Championships in May.
UTEP has never had an female athlete be named an All American in the heptathlon.
All of the action in the heptathlon will be covered via a stream on WatchESPN.com
Lawrence, Kansas – Tobi Amusan was her same young self on Saturday morning at the Rock Chalk Park for the NCAA West Preliminaries. The freshman sensation galloped to a first-place finish in her 100m hurdle heat with a time of 13.04 to earn herself an autobid to the NCAA Championships.
“I feel excited because my goal was to just win the race and make it to Eugene,” Amusan noted. “I executed from the blocks though my start wasn’t good enough, but it still went well and I won the heat.”
Amusan’s time was the fourth-fastest in the 48 athlete field. The Nigeria native has yet to lose a 100m hurdle race this year to a collegiate athlete. Her only setback was to Evonne Britton (post college/professional athlete) who narrowly edged her at the UTEP Springtime. Amusan will be the first UTEP woman since Janice Jackson (2014) to compete in the 100m hurdles at the NCAA Championships.
“It’s something good for a freshman to make it to Eugene,” Amusan said. “Hopefully when I get to Eugene I do well. I know what I’m capable of doing.”
The women’s 4x100m relay team of Tyler Ragin, Amusan, Alexis Roberts and Florence Uwakwe was dealt one of the toughest hands in all of sports. Running in the first heat, the foursome clocked a time of 45.04 to place fifth in their heat. Entering the third and final heat, the relay time stood as the 12th fastest yet to be recorded. Oklahoma’s time of 44.68 clocked in the final heat bumped the UTEP relay team out of a trip to the NCAA Championships.
Bria Love (13.88) and Sven Zellner (14.64) were unable to advance to Eugene in their respective hurdle events.
The four individuals advancing to Eugene are Uwakwe (400m dash), Jonah Koech (800m run), Amusan and heptathlete Lucia Mokrasova. The school record holder in the heptathlon did not compete this weekend because the top 24 heptathlon scores from the season automatically advance to the NCAA Championships.
Mokrasova’s 5,615 point total she racked up at the Texas Relays ranks 18th nationally.
Irving, Texas – The UTEP track and field team had three athletes named to the Conference USA All Academic Team on Friday afternoon. Fayon Gonzales (3.66 GPA/Kinesiology), Sven Zellner (3.82 GPA/Mechanical Engineering) and Esteban Montanez (3.83 GPA/Electrical Engineering) were all awarded for their prowess in the classroom and success on the track and field.
“It’s a great accomplishment for these three individuals and it speaks to how solid our academic program is,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “We have a very good academic support system and our coaches stay on top of our athletes to make sure they get the work done. The main reason they come to UTEP is to graduate, so I’m proud of these athletes and what they have achieved.”
Zellner is now a two-time member of the C-USA All Academic Team. The Germany native has participated in all 12 events this year for the Orange and Blue.
The senior picked up a sixth-place showing in the 60m hurdles at the 2016 C-USA Indoor Championships. H
e also ran the best 110m hurdle time of his career at the UTEP Springtime with a time of 14.07.
Zellner is slated to compete in the 110m hurdles tomorrow at the NCAA West Preliminaries.
Gonzales is a first-time honoree of the C-USA All Academic Team. She competed in 11 events
this spring and scored points in UTEP’s second straight women’s indoor title.
She placed fourth in the weight throw at the 2016 C-USA Indoor Championships with a personal best throw of 17.80m. During the outdoor slate, she also collected personal bests in the discus throw (47.10m) and the hammer throw (54.83m).
The Jamaica native also registered a fourth-place finish in the javelin throw at the 2016 C-USA Outdoor Championships with a mark of 40.33m.
Montanez is a first-time nominee as well. The El Paso native competed in 10 meets this spring.
He was the first leg of the men’s 4x400m relay that took gold at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge with a time of 3:11.14.
Recorded a personal best 400m dash time of 48.70 to take sixth at the UTEP Invitational.
He was the lead leg of the men’s 4x400m relay team that took silver at the 2016 C-USA Outdoor Championships.
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.
The entry list for the 2016 NCAA West Preliminaries was released this morning and the UTEP track and field program will have 12 athletes (five men and seven women) heading to Lawrence, Kansas, for the NCAA Regionals.
All Division I schools are split up into two regions (east and west), and an athlete has to be ranked inside the top 48 of their respective division to earn a bid to Regionals. The top 24 relay teams receive a bid as well. In order to advance to the NCAA Championships, an athlete or relay team must place inside the top 12 in Lawrence to travel to Eugene, Ore.
Rasmus Maukonen will be the only field athlete in action in the javelin throw. His personal best throw of 73.64m came at the UTEP Invitational in March, and he competed at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
The Miners will be sending four hurdlers into action. Sven Zellner (14.07), Bria Love (13.84) and Tobi Amusan (12.83) will be running the short hurdles and Yanique Bennett (58.27) will be sprinting in the 400m hurdles.
Asa Guevara will be sprinting in both the 100m dash and 200m dash; he clocked a time of 10.53 at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge to qualify for the 100 and a 200 time of 21.14 at the Sun Angel Classic. Carnell Horn qualified for the 400m dash with a personal best time of 46.94 last weekend at the Conference USA Championships.
Jonah Koech will compete in the 800m run (1:46.84); Koech was named the Freshman of the Meet last weekend at the C-USA Championships. Florence Uwakwe will be looking to advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career as an individual in the 400m dash (53.13). Fellow 400m dasher Ada Benjamin (54.37) will be joining Uwakwe as well.
The women’s 4x100m relay team will also compete, but the athletes in that race are yet to be announced. The UTEP squad of Tyler Ragin, Tobi Amusan, Alexis Roberts and Florence Uwakwe ran the best time of the season at the Sun Angel Classic with a time of 44.55; that time was the sixth-fastest ever in program history.
The NCAA West Preliminaries will run from May 26-28.
Texarkana, Ark. – The UTEP track & field team will begin the Conference USA Track & Field Championships on Thursday and the event will conclude on Sunday evening in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
13 women teams and 10 men’s team will be in action at the Dean A. Hayes Track & Soccer Stadium this week. A live stream of all the action will be provided at ConferenceUSA.com.
Heptathletes Lucia Mokrasova and Rebecca Oshinbanjo will start the action on Thursday for the Miners. Mokrasova was the 2016 C-USA Pentathlon champion and she is the current school record holder at UTEP for the heptathlon. She ranks No. 1 in C-USA and 16th in the country. The heptathlon will conclude on Friday.
Fayon Gonzales and Adebola Akomolafe will head up the throwing contingent for the women’s side in the hammer and discus throw. Gonzales rates sixth in C-USA in the hammer while Akomolafe ranks ninth; to earn points for your team, athletes must finish inside the top eight. Gonzales will also be competing in the javelin throw.
Throwing contingent for the men will be Kevin Rincon and Rasmus Maukonen. Rincon ranks sixth in conference in the hammer throw and Maukonen is ranked fifth in the star-studded javelin conference (five of top 10 throwers nationally).
The one-two mid distance punch of Jonah Koech will run the 1,500m run. Koech ranks No. 1 in C-USA and Boit is sixth. Koech will also dabble with the 800m run and Boit will also do the 5,000m run.
Freshman Tobi Amusan will be competing in four different events. The world’s eighth-fastest 100m hurdler for 2016 will run the hurdles (Saturday), 200m dash (Saturday), long jump (Saturday) and the 4x100m relay on Sunday. Amusan ranks first in C-USA in the 200m dash, 100m hurdles and third in the long jump.
Fellow stud sprinter Florence Uwakwe will compete in three events: the 200m dash, 100m dash and 4x100m relay. Uwakwe has the third fastest 200m dash time in conference and ninth fastest 100m dash.
Men’s sprinter Asa Guevara will run the 100m dash and 200m dash and possibly both relays. He ranks fifth in the conference for the 100m dash and ninth in conference for the 200m dash. Isak Washington will double up in the same events and is one spot behind Guevara in the 100m dash and ranks 11th in the 200m dash.
Senior Carnell Horn will try and qualify for the finals of the 400m dash; his season best time of 46.99 ranks No. 3 in C-USA. Fellow upperclassmen Sven Zellner will take the fourth quickest 110m hurdle time to the meet with him. He ran a personal best of 14.07 at the UTEP Invitational two weekends ago.
Long hurdler Yanique Bennett ranks third in C-USA with a UTEP best time of 59.25 this year and she will look to score big for UTEP.
Irving, Texas – For the third time during the outdoor season, Tobi Amusan was named the Conference USA Female Track Athlete of the Week for her performance last weekend at the UTEP Invitational; she is the only athlete in C-USA to be awarded a weekly honor three times during the outdoor season.
Amusan clocked the best time of her career with a blazing time of 12.83 in the 100m hurdles to rank eighth fastest in the world in 2016. The 12.83 broke Kim Turner’s (1983) school record by .12 seconds. It is the second fastest time ever ran by a woman under the age of 20 in the world and it currently ranks fourth fastest in the NCAA.
She returned to the track two hours later and dazzled the crowd with a 23.24 200m dash time to take gold. It was the sixth-fastest time ran in program history and ranks No. 1 in Conference USA.
The UTEP track and field team will take a week off and then head to Murfreesboro, Tenn., from May 12-16for the Conference USA Championships.
Freshman sensation Tobi Amusan broke a 33 year old record at Kidd Field Saturday afternoon when she ran the fourth-fastest 100m hurdle time in the world in 2016 with a time of 12.83.
“It was a really nice race and my plan was just to get out of the blocks,” Amusan said. “When I first looked at the scoreboard and it said 13.3 (seconds) I was very mad, but then when the official results popped up and said 12.83 I said YES!!!”
“It is really a privilege and to run sub 13 and it is great to see my goal come true that I have been training for over the past year.”
Her time is the second-fastest time EVER ran by an athlete under the age of 20. It is also the Nigerian and African Junior (under age of 20) record. Her time was .12 seconds better than former school record holder Kim Turner’s 12.95 (1983.) Amusan ranks second nationally and currently ranks as the fastest active Nigerian hurdler.
Amusan didn’t end her phenomenal day in the 100m hurdles, she turned around a little than two hours later and clocked the fastest 200m dash time in Conference USA. She crossed the finish line in 23.24 for gold.
“I know I have good speed and know that I am capable of running a sub-23 second 200m dash, but a 23.2 is not a bad start,” noted Amusan who ran her first 200m dash in over two and a half years.
Fayon Gonzales (54.83m) and Kevin Rincon (53.72m) both recorded personal bests in the hammer throw. Gonzales was the top collegiate finisher on the women’s side and Rincon placed second on the men’s side. Gonzales also collected a personal best in the discus throw with a mark of 47.10m to finish third collegiately.
Mid distance runner Cosmas Boit had a exquisite day on the track by winning the 800m run (1:51.86) and the 1,500m run (3:51.16). Daniel Cheruiyot registered a personal best in the same 1,500m race with a time of 3:53.97 to finish second. Winny Koech (4:43.42) and Gladys Jerotich (4:46.46) finished first and second in their 1,500m race as well.
Sven Zellner celebrated his Senior Day by taking gold with the sixth-fastest 110m hurdle time in school history (14.07) to register gold. Daniel Tarango also registered a personal best in his last career home meet with a time of 49.45 in the 400m dash to place fourth collegiately. Esteban Montanez (48.70/PB/third collegiately) and Carvellion Horn also registered personal bests.
In the men’s 100m dash, Asa Guevara was the top collegiate fininsher with a wind-aided time of 10.42 and Isak Washington registered a huge personal best of 10.46 to be the second collegian to cross the finish line.
The men’s 4x400m relay squad of Esteban Montanez, Isak Washington, Asa Guevara and Jonah Koech clocked a season-best time of 3:10.91 in the race to take gold. That time ranks third in Conference USA.
The UTEP track and field team will host its final regular season meet on Saturday at Kidd Field. The Miners will also honor five athletes (Carnell Horn, Bria Love, Tommy McCoy, Daniel Tarango and Sven Zellner) for Senior Day.
UTEP will host schools such as NM State, New Mexico, Texas Tech, South Plains College and Universidad Autonoma Ciudad Juarez. A number of professional unattached athletes will also be competing at the meet. The throwing events will begin at 10 a.m. and the running events will start at 2 p.m.; Senior Day ceremonies will start at 1:45 p.m.
Two of the seniors (Love and Zellner) will be running the 100 and 110m hurdles on Saturday; Zellner (14.23) ranks fourth in conference and Love (13.84) ranks eighth. Horn and Tarango will be competing in the 400m dash and Tommy McCoy will be running the 400m hurdles. Horn’s career best time of 46.99 ranks third in C-USA this year.
Tobi Amusan will double up in the 200m dash and the 100m hurdles; her 200m dash will be the first of her career in a UTEP uniform, and her 100m hurdle time currently ranks No. 2 in the WORLD for women under the age of 20.
Asa Guevara will look to replicate a strong performance in the 100m dash for the second week in a row; Guevara’s time of 10.53 ranks eighth in C-USA. Florence Uwakwe will be running the 200m dash along with the 400m dash, and she currently ranks No. 1 in C-USA for the 200 and No. 2 in the 400.
Cosmas Boit, Daniel Cheruiyot and Evans Kiprono will all run the 1,500m race; Boit’s season best time of 3:48.71 (converted from a mile time of 4:07.01) ranks seventh in C-USA.
Kevin Rincon will be throwing the hammer (ranks sixth C-USA) and javelin. Rasmus Maukonen will take the nation’s 13th longest javelin heave into competition with him.
Two hurdlers, Yanique Bennett and Brittney Trought, will compete in their respective events. Bennett currently ranks third in conference in the 400m hurdles with a season best time of 59.25. Trought has the sixth-fastest 100m hurdle time when she ran a 13.79 at the Sun Angel Classic.
Former UTEP seven-time All American Mickael Hanany will be competing in the high jump. Other professionals include Frankie Wright (USA 4x400m relay World Indoor Champion 2012), Tori Polk (2014 USA Long Jump World Indoor Champion), Yoann Rapinier (2013 Triple Jump World Championship Finalists), Jarrring Solomon (2015 World Championships Silver 4x400m relay) and Bridgette Owens (2015 5th fastest 60m hurdle time in the world).
For live updates of the meet, follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter.
Berkeley, Calif. – Freshman standout Jonah Koech broke the Brutus Hamilton Challenge 800m meet record by clocking a 1:46.84 to take gold on Saturday. The time ranks ninth nationally, No. 2 in Conference USA and No. 3 in UTEP history.
“That was Jonah’s first great 800m race for us at UTEP,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “He hadn’t really run a great one for us yet, and to set a meet record at a meet of this kind speaks volumes about his performance.”
Fellow freshman superstar Tobi Amusan had an exhilarating day in the long jump. Amusan took gold with a bound of 6.19 for a personal best; the mark ranks third in C-USA and 24th nationally.
“Tobi is a very special athlete,” Laaksonen noted. “We are very pleased to have her talents for three more years.”
Sprinter Asa Guevara had a wonderful weekend in Cali. A day after running a 21.35 in the 200m dash, Guevara came back for more on Saturday. Guevara clocked a time of 10.53 in his first ever 100m dash to take silver. The mark of 10.53 ranks sixth in C-USA.
“Asa had a great weekend here at this special meet,” Laaksonen acknowledged. “His 100m performance was exceptional and he split a 46.2 in our 4x400m relay (team ran season best 3:11.14) that took gold.”
Guevara took silver with a time of 10.53 in the 100m dash and Isak Washington followed in fifth with a time of 10.64.
The women’s 4x100m relay of Tyler Ragin, Amusan, Alexis Roberts and Florence Uwakwe won gold with a time of 45.55. The aforementioned men’s 4x400m relay took gold with a season best time of 3:11.14 (Carnell Horn, Guevara, Isak Washington and Esteban Montanez).
The men’s 4x100m relay of Sven Zellner, Guevara, Carnell Horn and Washington took silver with the third-fastest time in C-USA (40.68).
Robers clocked a personal best of 24.74 in the 200m dash. Three Miners set personal bests in the 400m hurdles; Dreshanae Rolle (women/1:02.53), Brittney Adams (women/1:03.46) and Yinka Oyebanjo-Odofin (men/56.30). Yanique Bennett placed second in the women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 59.40.
Freshman Brittney Trought captured gold in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.90 and Sven Zellner placed sixth on the men’s side with a readout of 14.48.
Berkeley, Ca. – The UTEP track and field team had a superb showing at the Brutus Hamilton Open on Friday afternoon. Seven Miners recorded personal bests at the meet.
Throwers Fayon Gonzales and Adebola got the action started during the morning session with the hammer throw. Gonzales took bronze with a personal best toss of 51.64m (169-05) and Adebola Akomolafe finished eighth with a heave of 48.21m (158-02). Akomolafe also finished fourth in the discus throw with a throw of 43.64m (143-02).
In the 100m dash, Florence Uwakwe took gold with a time of 11.80 and sophomore Tyler Ragin finished in fifth place with a readout of 12.41. Sven Zellner took silver for the men in the 100m dash with a time of 10.98.
Asa Guevara (21.35) and Carnell Horn (22.21/season best) sprinted to first and third-place showings in the 200m dash.
In the 800m run, Cosmas Boit held off a charging runner in the last 50m to take silver with a readout of 1:52.93. For the women, Brittney Adams collected a personal best by crossing the finish line in 2:18.57 seconds to win her heat.
Daniel Cheruiyot clocked the fourth-fastest 3,000m steeplechase time in Conference USA with a mark of 9:03.81; that mark is also a personal best.
Kevin Rincon launched a massive personal best in the hammer throw with a heave of 52.61m (172-07) to place seventh.
In the 5,000m run, Gladys Jerotich took third place with a time of 17:25.45 and Kayla Pallares clocked a personal best of 18:24.41.
All three Miners who competed in the 400m dash recorded personal bests; Dreshanae Rolle was the only woman to run and she clocked a time of 56.75, and representing the men were Tommy McCoy (51.39) and Yinka Oyebanjo-Odofin (53.02).
The Brutus Hamilton Challenge will take place tomorrow in Berekely. For live updates, follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter.
The UTEP track and field team will make the trip to Berkeley, Cali., this weekend for the Brutus Hamilton Challenge. It will be the first action for the Miners since the Sun Angel Classic two weeks ago.
34 athletes (15 men and 19 women) will attend the two-day meet in California for UTEP. The Brutus Hamilton Open will take place Friday and the Challenge will occur on Saturday.
Florence Uwakwe, who ranks No. 2 in the 400m dash and No. 9 in the 100m dash in C-USA, will be competing in both of those events this weekend. Dreshanae Rolle, Ada Benjamin and Imani Adams will also be competing in the 400m dash. Bria Love and Tyler Ragin will dash alongside Uwakwe in the 100m dash.
Love will also be competing in the 100m hurdles (seventh fastest C-USA) and Ragin will participate in the long jump (ranked sixth in C-USA).
Fellow hurdlers Brittney Trought (100m hurdles) and Yanique Bennett (400m hurdles) will be in action as well this weekend; both Trought and Bennett rank inside the top five in C-USA for their respective events. For the men, Sven Zellner will take the fourth-fastest 110m hurdle time (14.23) into the meet with him and Tommy McCoy and Yinka Oyebanjo-Odofin will run the long hurdles.
The men’s 800m running trio of Jonah Koech (No. 3), Cosmas Boit (No. 6) and Daniel Tarango (No. 7) hold three of the top seven times in C-USA this year; Koech and Tarango will run the 800 on Saturday, while Boit will run it Friday. Boit will also compete in the men’s mile scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Rasmus Maukonen, who ranks 12th in the nation in the javelin throw, will heave the stick at 5:30 p.m. (MT)on Friday evening. The women will send three javelin throwers to the runway in Fayon Gonzales, Lucia Mokrasova and Rebecca Oshinbanjo; Mokrasova has the sixth farthest javelin toss in C-USA.
Gonzales will also compete in the discus throw alongside Adebola Akomolafe. Both throwers rank inside the top 10 in discus marks in the conference. Akomolafe will also look to improve her personal best mark in the hammer throw; she ranks sixth in conference for that event.
Asa Guevara, who clocked a personal best at the Sun Angel Classic two weeks ago in the 200m dash, will look to follow that up with another solid performance in that event. Daniel Cheruiyot will take the fourth-fastest C-USA 3,000m steeplechase time (9:05.19) into action while hoping to shave some seconds off of his time.
Distance runners Winny Koech (1,500m run) and Gladys Jerotich (5,000m run) will tackle their events on Saturday and Friday.
For live updates of the action, follow @UTEPTrack on Twitter or you can follow live results at rtspt.com
Tempe, Ariz- The UTEP track and field team tacked on 12 personal bests on day two of the Sun Angel Classic. The Miners will take a two week hiatus before heading to the Brutus Hamilton Challenge in Berkeley, Cali.
The women’s 4x100m relay team of Tyler Ragin, Tobi Amusan, Alexis Roberts and Florence Uwakwe clocked a season-best time of 44.55 to place second. The time is a season best, ranks No. 1 in C-USA and should be good enough to qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries.
Javelin thrower Rasmus Maukonen launched a throw of 71.72m (235-04) to earn silver in his event.
The only two athletes for UTEP to compete in the premiere section (professionals included) were Florence Uwakwe and Tobi Amusan. Uwakwe, a junior and two-time reigning Conference USA 400m dash champ, placed third with a time of 53.34. Amusan, the renowned freshman hurdler, clocked a 100m dash time of 11.50 to place 3rd as well. Amusan’s time ranks No. 1 in C-USA and Uwakwe’s ranks second.
The trio of 100m hurdlers recorded the first three personal bests of the day. Brittney Trought (13.79) placed 10th, Bria Love (13.84) finished 12th and Rebecca Oshinbanjo (13.98) shaved nearly half a second off her previous best. Sven Zellner clocked a time of 14.23 in the 110m hurdles to place fourth.
Yanique Bennett won her 400m hurdle heat with a time of 59.70 to place sixth; freshman Dreshanae Rolle (1:02.74) and Brittney Adams (1:03.79) both recorded personal bests as well one their way to a one-two finish in their heat. Yinka Oyebanjo-Odofin registered a personal best in his 400m hurdle heat with a time of 56.50.
Carnell Horn registered a 400m dash time of 46.99 to place sixth; the time ranks second in Conference USA. Asa Guevara stole the show in the 200m dash with a personal best time of 21.14 to take silver; his mark ranks No. 4 in C-USA.
Cosmas Boit (1:51.58) and Daniel Tarango (1:51.68) ran the fourth and fifth-quickest 800m times on their way to a seventh and eighth-place finish.
Sophomore Tyler Ragin collected the longest jump of her career with a bound of 5.94m (19-6.00) to place seventh in the long jump. The Georgia native also registered a personal best in her first ever 200m dash with a time of 25.19 to win her heat.
Fayon Gonzales placed eighth in the discus throw with a heave of 46.36m (152-01). Imani Adams clocked a personal best in her 400m dash heat with a readout of 56.40. Alexis Roberts clocked a 12.36 in her first career 100m dash to record a personal best.