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Home | Tag Archives: utep track and field (page 3)

Tag Archives: utep track and field

Flyin’ Miners Execute on Final Day of New Mexico Collegiate Classic

Albuquerque – The UTEP track and field team showed improvements on the final day of the New Mexico Collegiate Classic Saturday.

“Some of our higher profile student-athletes are starting to look sharper,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “I think we took big strides forward in several events and we plan to go back to Albuquerque next week for our final tune-up before conference indoor championships with a very lean team.”

Leading the way for the Miners was distance runner Lilian Koech. She clocked in a season-best time of 4:46.21 in the mile to take second overall in the competitive field. The senior currently checks in at 57th nationally and first in Conference USA in the event. Teammate Carolyne Chepkosgei finished closely behind, crossing the finish line with a time of 4:47.31. The sophomore not only posted a personal-best time but also ranks second in the league in the mile.

In the women’s 60m quarterfinals former Miner great Tobi Amusan opened the meet with a stellar showing. The Adidas athlete dashed past the competition, posting a winning time of 7.44 and advancing to the preliminaries. In the second round of the 60m, Amusan took second in the second heat after clocking in at 7.41. She went on to finish sixth overall (7.45) in the finals.

Junior Kimisha Chambers competed for the second time this meet, representing the Miners in the 400m dash. The transfer took the track in the final section of the event and finished third overall with a time of 55.40. Chambers checks in at fourth in the league in the event. Teammates Madison Gibson (56.29) and Annette Bolomboy (56.36) crossed the finish line seventh and eighth, respectively.

Junior Sean Bailey dominated the men’s 400m, posting a personal-best time of 46.87 to claim first place overall. The sprinter currently ranks 19th nationally and second in C-USA in the event. He also rates fifth all-time in UTEP history in the indoor 400m.

Darius King finished second in the triple jump in his final attempt of the day. The sophomore posted a season-best leap of 14.62m (47-11.75). On the women’s side, Chantoba Bright also took second in her final attempt of the day, with a mark of 12.77m (41-10.75). The freshman rates 30th nationally and second in C-USA in the triple jump. Bright also earned a spot in the UTEP record book, checking in at sixth in the triple jump.

In the men’s 60m hurdles prelims Shakeem Smith ran in the fastest heat and earned a spot in the finals with a time of 8.13. The senior finished fifth overall in the 60m hurdles in a field that included 19 runners.

In the men’s shot put, freshman Iason Machairas once again improved his mark. The thrower registered a personal best of 17.26m (56-07.50) and sits third overall in the event in the league.

The Miners wrapped up the meet with a third-place finish in the men’s 4x400m relay. The relay featured Luis Baca, Bailey, Carvellion Horn and Anthony Brinson. The team clocked in a time of 3:21.42 and won the second section of the event.

The squad will compete at the Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational Feb. 8-9 in Albuquerque, N.M.

Flyin’ Miners Set for Texas A&M Triangular Meet

The UTEP track and field team will travel to College Station to compete in the Texas A&M Triangular Meet on Saturday.

On the women’s side, 17 Miners will represent the Orange and Blue. Leading the squad will be transfer Kimisha Chambers in the women’s 60m hurdles at 1 p.m. MT. The junior has already left her mark at UTEP, posting the eighth-fastest time (8.49) in the 60m hurdles in program history.

The women’s 800m will be fully loaded with Carolyne Chepkosgei, Lilian Koech and Destiny White taking the track for the Miners at 1:40 p.m. Chepkosgei won the women’s 1,000m by clocking in a time of 2:53.74 at the Texas Tech Corky Classic on Jan. 12. Her personal-best time (2:09.50) was posted last season at the Conference USA Championships, where she took silver.

Koech will be racing in the 800m for the first time this season. She won the mile run with a time of 4:59.88 in the first meet of the season on Jan. 12. White, who took eighth in the 1,000m at the Texas Tech Corky Classic on Jan. 12, will also compete in the 800m for the first time this season.

Three Miners will also run in the 400m set for 1:05 p.m. Junior Madison Gibson will lead the group. She ran a personal-best time of 56.52 at the 2018 New Mexico Classic. Also participating the 400m will be Karoline Daland and Dreshanae Rolle, who finished fourth and fifth in the 600m at the Texas Tech Corky Classic, respectively.

On the field, Chantoba Bright will be the lone Miner in the long jump (12:15 p.m.). The freshman finished fourth at the Texas Tech Corky Classic with a mark of 5.90m, which is currently the top mark in C-USA by a freshman.

On the men’s side, 19 student-athletes will represent UTEP.

The men’s field events will feature freshman Iason Machairas in the shot put at approximately 1:30 p.m. The thrower took third in the season opener on Jan. 12 with a mark of 17.11m, which currently ranks second in C-USA.

Sophomore Karol Koncos will once again compete in the weight throw (1:30 p.m.) for the Miner. On Jan. 12, he won the event with a toss of 18.54m. Joining him will be teammate Benjamin Coronado, who will compete in the weight throw and shot put.

In the sprints side, the men’s 400m (1:15 p.m.) will consist of Sean Bailey, Carvellion Horn and Luis Baca. At the Texas Tech Corky Classic, Bailey posted a second-place finish in the 600m by clocking in at 1:10.07.

Horn took the track in the 400m at the Texas Tech Corky Classic and recorded a second-place finish.

The men’s mile run (12:45 p.m.) will feature sophomores Boaz Ronoh and Cornelius Kapel. Kapel crossed the finish line second with a time of 4:16.68 in the mile run on Jan. 12. Ronoh finished first in the 3,000m at the Texas Tech Corky Classic and will compete in the mile for the first time this season.

For live results, click here.

Flyin’ Miners Shine in First Indoor Meet of Season

Lubbock – The UTEP track and field team opened the 2019 indoor season at the Texas Tech Corky Classic at the Sports Performance Center on Saturday.

Transfer Kimisha Chambers wasted no time in getting out of blocks in her first meet with the Orange and Blue. The junior posted a third-place finish in the 200m clocking in a time of 24.20. She went on to register a personal best of 8.49 in the 60m hurdles finishing fifth overall. Chambers currently ranks 23rd nationally in the 60m hurdles with her time at the Texas Tech Corky Invitational.

In the field events, sophomore Karol Koncos returned to action after missing the 2018 season due to an injury. The thrower notched a winning mark of 18.54m (60-10) in his second attempt of the day.

Freshman Iason Machairas opened his collegiate career with a third-place finish in the shot put. He posted a mark of 17.11m (56-1.75) in his second attempt of the day.

Sophomore Etamar Bhastekar was the lone Miner in the pole vault and notched a fourth-place finish with a mark of 4.87m (15-11.75).

In her first meet with the Miners, Chantoba Bright posted a leap of 5.90m (19-4.25) in the long jump, which ranks her 24th nationally.

On the distance side, Cornelius Kapel took second in the mile run with a time of 4:16.68. Sophomore Boaz Ronoh led the Miners in the 3,000m finishing first overall clocking in at 8:51.26. Teammates Rodgers Korir and Kapel followed crossing the finish line at 8:54.80 and 8:59.34, respectively.

On the women’s side, sophomore Carolyne Chepkosgei opened the season with a personal-best time of 2:53.74, notching a first-place finish in the 1,000m.

Teammate Lilian Koech also recorded a winning time in the mile run crossing the finish line with a time of 4:59.88.

The sprinters also proved to be a threat on the track as underclassmen Annette Bolomboy and Natalia Roberts finished second and third in the 400m, respectively.

Freshman Dennis Johnson opened the season with a fourth-place finish crossing the finish line at 6.83 in the 60m.

Senior Kyle Farrell finished sixth out of 18 runners in the 200m with a time of 21.64. Teammate Sean Bailey ran in the 600m and posted a time of 1:10.07 taking second overall.

UTEP will be back in action next week at the Texas A&M Quad Meet in College Station, Texas, on Saturday.

Flyin’ Miners Open Indoor Season at Texas Tech Corky Classic

The UTEP track and field team will open the indoor season on Saturday at the Texas Tech Corky Classic in Lubbock, Texas.

The Miners will be competing at the Sports Performance Center, going up against Garden City, Houston, Oklahoma and host Texas Tech. The meet will begin at 10 a.m. MT with the women’s shot put, while the running events are set to start at 12 p.m. with the women’s mile.

Highlighting the women’s team is Lilian Koech. The distance runner has garnered 12 conference medals in the Orange and Blue. Koech won the 2018 Conference USA Championships in the mile and registered a season best of 4:45.62 at the 2018 Vanderbilt Commodore Invitational. The senior will open the season with the mile run at 12 p.m.

Also taking the track for the Miners is Carolyne Chepkosgei, Andrea Lucero and Destiny White in the 1,000m (2 p.m.). All three distance runners were a part of the 2018 Cross Country C-USA Championship team. Last season, Chepkosgei earned a silver medal at the C-USA Indoor Championships in the 800m with a personal best of 2:09.50.

The women’s 200m will feature six Miners; including transfer Kimisha Chambers, who clocked in a personal best of 24.19 in the 200m at the 2018 NJCAA Indoor Championships. The junior also notched a silver medal in the 60m hurdles at the NJCAA Championships.

Senior Rebecca Oshinbanjo will also compete in the 200m and 60m hurdles. The hurdler notched an eight-place finish at the 2018 C-USA Championships. Oshinbanjo posted a personal-best time of 8.50 in the 60m hurdles last season.

Chambers and Oshinbanjo will take the track in the 60m hurdles at 1 p.m., followed with the 200m at 2:10 p.m.

Freshmen Samantha Cordier and Kayla Larry will represent the Miners in the shot put (10 a.m.) and weight throw (2 p.m.).

On the men’s side, sophomore Karol Koncos returns to the field after missing last season due to an injury. Koncos posted a personal best of 19.63 in the weight throw at the 2017 C-USA Indoor Championships. The thrower will compete in the weight throw at 1 p.m. alongside teammates Iason Machairas and Benjamin Coronado.

The men’s 60m dash will include three freshmen (Luis Baca, Anthony Brinson and Dennis Johnson) and senior Kyle Farrell. The event is scheduled to begin at 1:50 p.m.

Junior Shakeem Smith will be the lone Miner competing in the 60m hurdles at 1:10 p.m. The hurdler set a career best at the C-USA Indoor Championships last season, clocking in a time of 8.07 in the 60m hurdles.

Smith will also take the track in the 4x400m relay set to close out the meet at approximately 4:35 p.m.

Live results will be available at www.pttiming.com

Miners to Co-Host Lori Fitzgerald Open

The UTEP cross country team will head to Las Cruces, N.M. to co-host the Lori Fitzgerald Open on Saturday at the NMSU track and intramural fields.

The men’s team will open the meet in the 7K at 7:45 a.m. MT, followed by the women’s 5K race at 8:30 a.m. Also participating in the meet is New Mexico, NM State, Western New Mexico and El Paso Community College. The women’s team will go head-to-head for the second time this season against UNM. The Lobos claimed the 2017 NCAA Championship and rank first in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) national coaches’ poll.

The Miner women’s team comes into the race after claiming a first-place finish at the Lobo Invitational. Winny Koech led the team, clocking in a time of 17:42.7 in the 5K to finish first overall. Teammate Lilian Koech followed with a second-place showing, posting a time of 17:57.3.

Linda Cheruiyot took third, while Carolyne Chepkosgei notched a fourth-place result with a personal best of 18:05.9 at the Lobo Invitational.

Sophomore’s Andrea Lucero and Destiny White will also be competing for the Miners this weekend.

The men’s team opened the season with a second-place team finish. Sophomore Cornelius Kapel led the Miners with a seventh-place finish at the Lobo Invitational with a personal best of 16:00.3 in the 5K. Freshman Boaz Ronoh took eighth with a time of 16:07.4.

Also competing for the men’s team will be Rodgers Korir, Isaiah Page, Daniel Maes, Edgar Gonzalez, Allan Ortiz and Michael Sims.

98-Year-Old UTEP Track Staffer Calls it a Career After 31 Years

A beloved 98-year-old administrative assistant who served The University of Texas at El Paso’s Track and Field office for the past 31 years was celebrated for her effectiveness as much as her hugs and cookies during her retirement luncheon, held last week.

Katie Jensen, who used safety pins to attach a white runner’s bib with the number “31” to the back of her orange jacket, was all smiles as she mingled with friends, family members, co-workers, current and former coaches and campus administrators, to include University President Diana Natalicio, in the lobby of UTEP’s Foster•Stevens Basketball Center.

Organizers used a sports/track theme to decorate the round tables that spanned the lobby. Items included batons, track shoes, mini-hurdles, pompoms, and plastic cups that held up photos of Jensen through the years.

After a Mexican meal of mini-flautas, picadillo and sides, Director of Athletics Jim Senter called the guest of honor to the middle of the room, where he praised her for her great work through the years. Senter, who joined the University in November 2017, said it was a treat to work with Jensen before he presented her with some gifts. She received a wood plaque from UTEP athletics that thanked her for her years of service and wished her well in her future endeavors, and a large white UTEP football jersey with the blue number 31 and the name “Jensen” stitched on the back.

“This is unbelievable,” Jensen repeated several times as her friends and family applauded vigorously.

After composing herself, the mother of two, grandmother of six and great- and great-great grandmother of too many offspring to remember, shared a quick work history from her start at State National Bank (now Wells Fargo) in downtown El Paso in 1950 to her decision to apply at UTEP in 1986. The El Paso native said she heard the track office needed help.

“I’ve been there ever since,” said Jensen, who continues to drive herself to work from her west El Paso home near Coronado High School. “I’m surprised you’ve allowed me to stay this long.”

All kidding aside, Jensen spoke from the heart as she called her 31 years at UTEP a wonderful time. She spent a few minutes complimenting the student-athletes, many who lovingly referred to her as “nana.” She called them kind, thoughtful, courteous and generous.

Jensen thanked members of the University community, from President Natalicio on down, for their support of UTEP athletics, especially track and field. When she leaves – her last official day is Tuesday, July 31 – she will take her UTEP family home with her, Jensen said as she covered her heart.

“I’ve led a blessed life,” said Jensen, whose husband of 40 years, Ronnie Jensen, died in 1980. “I’ve truly enjoyed every minute here. I wouldn’t have wanted to be in any other department. Thank you for many, many happy days.”

Jensen said she decided this was the right time to retire to allow a new person to settle in the job before the new academic year begins in August. It was a tough decision, but she stands by it. She said she has no immediate plans other than to crochet and knit items for family and friends to include a baby blanket.

After the presentations, President Natalicio expressed her fondness for Jensen, an always loyal and energetic presence in the athletics department. She also used the occasion to reflect on how many UTEP staff and faculty help to create the University’s warm and friendly atmosphere and strong relationships.

“If anyone epitomizes UTEP’s family spirit, it’s Katie,” President Natalicio said. “Everyone knows her. She’s always cheerful and so very proud to be a member of the UTEP family. Oh, and she never ages!”

Bob Kitchens, UTEP’s head track coach from 1988 to 2010, joked that he and Jensen spent the first few years trying to figure out who was in charge. The Hall of Fame coach said her work ethic and positive outlook impressed him.

“I learned to respect her and appreciate her,” he said. “She’s a wonderful lady. I knew she had my back. I couldn’t ask for a better person (as an assistant).”

Just inside the event’s front door was a memory book where guests could share a thought about Jensen, an El Paso native who ran sprints for the Austin High School track team in the 1930s. She attended the Texas College of Mines (now UTEP) for a few years but did not complete her degree to help at home. The book already had various typed emails from Miner alums and others such as former athletic director Bob Stull, who could not attend.

The messages praised “Ms. Katie” as a teacher who helped the writers to grow as people. They wrote of their admiration of her work ethic. One person described how Jensen found her on the floor stretching, told her she was doing it wrong, and proceeded to get on the floor to show her the proper technique. Others thanked her for her smile, advice, guidance, dedication, thoughtfulness and unconditional love.

“You have become our Nana away from home,” one wrote.

Rita Lerma, Senter’s administrative assistant and the event’s lead organizer, said her life was richer for having known Jensen these past 19 years. She laughed at recollections of Jensen giving positive affirmations to office machines that seemed to need encouragement.

“She had a great attitude … a good outlook on life,” Lerma said. “I think she’s amazing. I’m grateful to have had her in my life.”

Author: Daniel Perez – UTEP Communications

Saruni Named C-USA Male Track Athlete of the Year

UTEP track and field claimed the Conference USA Male Track Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year with sophomore Michael Saruni being named this year’s award winner, it was announced by the league on Thursday morning.

Saruni was crowned the NCAA Champion in the 800m at the NCAA Track and Field Indoor Championships, where he ran the No. 2 time in collegiate history at 1:45.15. His time ranks just behind his coach Paul Ereng (1:44.84, 1989). The Kenya native set a world best time in the 600m at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate stopping the clock at 1:14.79.

During the outdoor season, Saruni garnered a bronze-medal finish at the 2018 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships with a time of 1:45.31 and earned his fourth-career All-American honor. ]

He etched his name into NCAA track and field history when he clocked the NCAA record in the 800m at the Desert Heat Classic halting the clock at 1:43.25. His time broke the two-year streak held by Donovan Brazier (1:43.55, Texas A&M).

Saruni holds both indoor and outdoor records in the 800m at UTEP. He was also voted as a semi-finalist in The Bowerman watchlist.

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

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.

Flyin’ Miners Complete Final Day at the NCAA West Region Preliminaries

Sacramento, Ca. – The UTEP track and field team concluded the NCAA West Region Preliminaries on Saturday.

Only two Miners competed on the final day of the meet. Newcomer Shakeem Smith raced in the 110m hurdles where he clocked a time of 14.37 to finish 22nd overall. The sophomore finished the season with a personal-best time of 13.97 and ranks fifth in program history.

In the women’s 1,500m, junior Lilian Koech narrowly missed out on a top-12 finish. The Kenya native crossed the finish line with a career-best 4:18.65 earning a 14th-place finish to end the season.

For Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech the season continues. Both mid-distance runners advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on June 6-9.

Saruni has established himself as the greatest 800m collegiate runner, setting the NCAA record time of 1:43.25 at the Desert Heat Classic. He is the overall favorite heading into the championship rounds. Koech ranks ninth in the country with a season-best time of 1:47.05. He had no trouble qualifying to the next round earning a third-place finish on Friday.

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

Saruni, Koech Punch Ticket to NCAA Championships

Sacramento, Ca. – UTEP’s sophomore Michael Saruni and junior Jonah Koech dominated the men’s 800m by earning a trip to the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Friday.

“Both Saruni and Koech got the job done,” head coach Mika Laaksonen said. “They didn’t leave anything to chance and executed their race.”

Koech got out early to lead the pack with Saruni trailing behind in the middle of the group. Saruni used a late kick at the end to push himself ahead of the field to finish with a winning time of 1:46.37. Koech crossed the finish line in third place stopping the clock at 1:47.05.

Both Miners will move on to Eugene, Ore. for the NCAA Championships on June 6-9.

In the 400m, senior Asa Guevara sprinted notching a time of 46.37 and just narrowly missing out on a bid to the NCAA Championships. Guevara finished his career at UTEP earning spots on the all-time list in the 200m (20.51) and 400m (45.26).

“Asa ran a great race and tried to put himself in a position to advance to the NCAA Championships and came up just shy,” Laaksonen said. “He had a great career with us and we will sorely miss him.”

Newcomer Shakeem Smith moves on to the 110m hurdle quarterfinals on Saturday at 8:05 p.m. MT. Smith clocked a time of 14.19 to finish fourth in his heat. The Bahamas native will need a top-12 finish in order to move on to the NCAA Championships.

Also competing on Saturday will be Lilian Koech in the 1,500m. Koech advanced to the quarterfinals on Thursday with a time of 4:21.51. The Kenya native will race at 7:45 p.m.

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

Four Miners Advance to Friday’s Quarterfinals

Sacramento, Ca. – The UTEP track and field team completed day one at the NCAA West Region Preliminary round with four student-athletes making the quarterfinal round on Thursday afternoon in Sacramento.

The first Miner to punch their ticket was Lilian Koech in the 1,500m. Koech finished fourth in her heat with a time of 4:21.51, earning an automatic bid to the next round. She will enjoy a full day’s rest before returning to the track on Saturday for the 1,500m quarterfinal at 7:45 p.m. MT.

Senior Asa Guevara was the next to earn a quarterfinal slot in the men’s 400m. Guevara crossed the finish line to finish third in his heat stopping the clock at 47.03. The Trinidad and Tobago native will return tomorrow and race in the 400m quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m.

In the men’s 800m, mid-distance duo Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech had no issues running their way into the quarterfinal round. Koech won his heat running a time of 1:50.05. Saruni cruised his way to a second-place finish in the second heat with a time of 1:49.53. Both runners will compete on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Competing in the women’s 400m hurdles, Dreshanae Rolle clocked a time of 59.67 just missing out on a qualifying spot.

Donivan Ortega was the lone Miner to compete in any field events, finishing with a mark of 6.94m (22-9.25) in the long jump.

Friday’s schedule will begin at 5:30 p.m. with newcomer Shakeem Smith racing in the 110m hurdles. He will need to place in the top 12 in order to advance to Saturday’s quarterfinal race at 8:05 p.m.

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

Flyin’ Miners Set for the NCAA West Region Preliminaries

The UTEP track and field team has seven student-athletes competing at the NCAA West Region Preliminaries on May 24-26 in Sacramento, Calif., hosted by Sacramento State.

Over the next three days, student-athletes from around the nation will take the track to punch their ticket to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Getting the action started for the Miners will be Donivan Ortega competing in the long jump on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. MT. The sophomore established himself early this season setting a personal best of 7.54m (24-9) at the UTEP Springtime taking first place. Ortega notched three consecutive performances jumping over 7.00m (23-0).

Dreshanae Rolle will race in the 400m hurdles prelims starting at 6 p.m. Rolle clocked a career-best 59.02 at the Conference USA Championships taking home a second-place showing. She’s ranked 34th in the west region heading into the meet. Finals will take place on Friday at 8:15 p.m.

Junior Lilian Koech will take the track at 7 p.m. racing in the 1,500m prelims. Koech has racked up an impressive outdoor season earning seven top-five finishes. She was crowned the C-USA Champion in the 1,500m running a personal-best 4:18.72. The Kenya native ranks 17th in the west region. The finals will be on Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

In the 400m, senior Asa Guevara will represent the Miners starting at 8:20 p.m. Guevara has earned six top-five finishes over the season. He claimed gold at the C-USA Championships in the 400m with a personal best of 45.26. The Trinidad and Tobago native ranks eighth in the west region. The 400m finals will start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday

Closing out the first day of competition will be the highly anticipated 800m at 9:10 p.m. featuring Michael Saruni and Jonah Koech. Saruni clocked the NCAA All-Time Best record in the 800m with a time of 1:43.25 at the Desert Heat Classic in Tucson, Ariz. The sophomore ranks first in the country. Koech notched gold medals in the 800m and 1,500m at the conference championships. The junior heads into the competition ranked ninth in the nation.

Newcomer Shakeem Smith will participate in the 110m hurdles on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Smith notched a fourth-place finish at the C-USA Championships with a time of 14.09. The 110m hurdle finals will be on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

During the preliminary rounds (Thursday/Friday), the top-three finishers from each heat plus the next three best times will advance to the quarterfinals (Friday/Saturday). The top-three finishers from each quarterfinal heat plus the next three best times will advance to the NCAA Championships.

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

Saruni Makes Fifth Straight Appearance on Bowerman Watch List

In his second year in the Orange and Blue, Michael Saruni has established himself as one of the greatest 800m runners in NCAA history and has been named to his fifth Bowerman Watch List honor, it was announced by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Thursday.

Saruni has been the headliner for the Miners during the 2018 season, after registering a world record 1:14.79 in the 600m during the indoor season. He made his return to the national stage in College Station, Texas, for the NCAA Indoor Championships running a winning time of 1:45.15 and solidifying his spot at No. 2 NCAA All-Time Best in the 800m.

The Kenya native is coached by 1988 Olympic gold medalist Paul Ereng, who holds the indoor NCAA record in the 800m (1:44.84).

The sophomore sensation made history during the outdoor season at the Desert Heat Classic, breaking the NCAA 800m record previously held by Donovan Brazier (1:43.55, Texas A&M) with a time of 1:43.25.

Over the course of the season, Saruni has been named to the watch list five consecutive times. He is the second-most voted athlete on the watch list behind Grant Holloway (Florida), Josh Kerr (New Mexico), Justin Knight (Syracuse) and Ioannis Kyriazis (Texas A&M), who all have six straight appearances.

He joins the ranks of Miners who have made appearances on The Bowerman Watch List including, Blessing Okagbare (2010), Anthony Rotich (2014, 2015) and Emmanuel Korir (2017). Okagbare was named a finalist during her senior season and Korir made the semi-finalist cut last year.

Saruni is scheduled to compete in the 800m at the NCAA West Preliminary rounds on May 24-26 in Sacramento, Cailf.

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

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