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UTEP Men’s Golf concludes C-USA Championship in seventh

TEXARKANA, Ar. – The UTEP men’s golf team (288-295-292—875) finished four strokes behind fourth-place UAB (+7) and placed seventh.

The Miners shot 4-over par during the final round of stroke play to finish 11-over par at the Airforce Reserve Conference USA Men’s Golf Championship Tuesday afternoon at Texarkana Country Club (par 72/6,935 yards).

UTSA (292-283-289—864), defending champ Middle Tennessee (292-289-287—868), Charlotte (294-288-287—869) and UAB (291-289-291—871) will advance to Wednesday’s match play for a chance to advance to the NCAA Regionals.

UTEP finished two strokes behind WKU (287-292-294—873), which shot 6-over par and fell four spots to sixth place. Rice (293-292-287—872) shot 1-under par Tuesday afternoon, but finished in fifth, a stroke behind UAB.

UTEP sophomore Oskar Ambrosius (69-73-75—217) finished as the top Miner, placing tied for 10th at 1-over par. Senior Settavut Paradee (71-75-73—219) placed 24th, while junior Eduardo Gonzalez (73-74-74—221) and senior Aaron Terrazas (75-77-70—222) finished tied for 27th and 33rd, respectively.

Terrazas penciled in one of the lowest third-round scores on the day and moved up 12 spots. Senior Ben Getman (79-73-79—231) finished tied for 54th place.

Rice’s Jake Benson (70-68-73—211) won the individual title at 5-under par, while Middle Tennessee’s Cooper Sears (71-71-70-212), UTSA’s Sean Meehan (69-71-72—212) and Charlotte’s John Gough (71-71-70-212) finished in a three-way tie for second place at 4-under par.

The Miners concluded the 2018-19 campaign, winning the Pepsi-Cola Classic Oct. 21 and placing in the top five in three other events (second place at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate, tied third at the GCU Invitational and second place at the Bearkat Invitational).

Terrazas concluded his career with a team-leading 71.5 stroke average this season. The Mexico City, Mexico, native competed in 12 tournaments during his final season with the Orange and Blue. Ambrosius fashioned a 72.5 stroke average after competing in all 13 tournaments during his second and most successful season in the Sun City.

Terrazas earned a co-championship at the Herb Wimberly Intercollegiate (Oct. 16), his first ever collegiate victory, while following with his first outright triumph at the Pepsi-Cola Classic (Oct. 21). Ambrosius registered five top 10 finishes, including his first collegiate victory at the Bearkat Invitational April 2.

Koech Earns C-USA Athlete of the Week

Junior Winny Koech garnered Conference USA Female Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week honors, the league announced on Tuesday.

The distance runner registered a personal-best time of 33:35.68 in the 10K at the highly-competitive MT. SAC Relays. Koech currently ranks 26th nationally and first in C-USA in the 10K. The junior also checks in fourth all-time in program history.

This is Koech’s first athlete of the week honor this season.

The Miners will be back in action on Saturday at the Desert Heat Classic in Tucson, Az.

Lily Downs Named to the All-Conference Third Team

UTEP women’s golf Lily Downs was named to the All-Conference USA Third team as announced the league office Tuesday morning.

“I’m very proud of what Lily has been able to accomplish here,” UTEP head coach Jere Pelletier said. “ She’s one of the best players to come through the program and her career just validates the hard working person that she is.”

Downs put the final touches on her senior season with seven top-10 finishes and led the team with six top place finishes. The lone senior posted a stroke average of 73.0 over 10 tournaments. She helped guide the Miners to a team high four tournament wins, including three consecutive.

The Kirklevington, Yarm, U.K. native, earned a season-high tie for third place at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert (Sept. 29-30) shooting 4-over par 220.

Downs opened the season with a 1-over par 214 to finish tied for fourth place at the MSU/Payne Stewart Memorial (Sept. 10-11). She shot a low round of 68 at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic (April 8-9).

UTEP’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers Established to Promote Academic Excellence

Each year for the past decade, The University of Texas System Board of Regents has recognized faculty members from The University of Texas System’s eight academic and six health institutions as recipients of the highly prestigious and competitive Regents Outstanding Teaching Awards (ROTA).

Since the awards’ inception, faculty members at The University of Texas at El Paso have claimed 70 of these coveted prizes, creating a distinguished group comprising various disciplines throughout the University who share exemplary performance in the classroom.

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the ROTA, and in an effort to share awardees’ deep commitment to teaching with the campus community, UTEP’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers was founded in 2019. The academy’s primary purpose is to recognize, promote and support excellence in teaching at the University.

When founders of the UTEP academy — who include Beth Brunk-Chavez, Ph.D., dean of UTEP’s Extended University, and John Hadjimarcou, Ph.D., professor of marketing and chair of UTEP’s Department of Marketing and Management — approached UTEP President Diana Natalicio about the idea for the academy at the University, she was enthusiastic and fully supported all efforts to get it up and running on campus.

“I think President Natalicio feels UTEP has a lot to share when it comes to excellence in teaching for an institution like ours, and it is important to make known internally and externally that we have a community of teachers who can do great things,” Hadjimarcou said.

As is true of the UT System’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers, which recognizes outstanding educators across The University of Texas System academic institutions, the UTEP Academy’s goals are to recognize and reward outstanding educators for their exceptional contributions, foster and promote improved teaching and learning, education innovation, and educational discourse and initiatives.

“This Academy of Distinguished Teachers provides us with the opportunity to celebrate teaching excellence at UTEP,” Brunk-Chavez said. “We look forward to working with the best teachers across the UTEP campus to showcase and promote the innovative, engaging and otherwise extraordinary teaching practices that contribute to the success of our students.”

The academy’s members are comprised of UTEP’s previous ROTA recipients with the hope in the future to extend membership to other faculty members who have excelled in teaching at the state or national level. Current members will be charged with providing institutional leadership in teaching excellence at the University and advise the Provost and President on instructional matters, provide mentorship to UTEP faculty, sponsor teaching-related scholarship, and engage in initiatives that bring attention to and create a climate that values diversity in teaching innovation and discourse.

“In addition to recognizing the excellence in teaching on campus, it is important that the academy also provides an opportunity for members to share their expertise with others on campus,” said John Wiebe, Ph.D., UTEP’s interim provost. “By recognizing them, we set them up for a position of mentorship of others who would like to learn their successful methods of teaching.”

UTEP’s academy will be closely aligned with the University’s Center for Faculty Leadership and Development (CFLD). The academy will follow the center’s efforts to allow members to share their own experiences and expertise with the UTEP community through workshops and other forums on cutting-edge teaching and learning activities, methods and applications.

“Establishing this academy hopefully sends the message to our students and faculty on the value we place on good teaching at UTEP,” Wiebe said. “It also provides more opportunities for recognition of excellent teaching, which is important because if you only recognize two outstanding teachers a year as with the ROTA, it can be difficult for faculty to aspire to receive that award. If we are able to recognize more faculty I think it can incentivize faculty to document what they are doing in the classroom and work with colleagues toward that recognition or stature.”

The inaugural class will be officially inducted into the UTEP Academy of Distinguished Teachers during Honors Convocation on April 28. For more information on the academy, visit their website.

Author:  Christina Rodriguez – UTEP Communications

UTEP’s Julia Wright Wins C-USA Pitcher Of The Week

UTEP softball’s Julia Wright won Conference USA Pitcher of the Week, the league announced Monday afternoon.

Wright threw 10.2 scoreless innings with a 0.00 ERA, two victories and a save in her three appearances versus Florida Atlantic this weekend. Of the 40 batters faced for the pitcher she only allowed one walk, showing complete command of the strike zone.

The senior carried the Miners in the circle to their first sweep of FAU in program history. Wright is also the first UTEP pitcher since Kaitlin Fifield to earn the honor (Co-Pitcher of The Week – Feb. 29, 2016), and the first since Stacie Townsend to be given the honor outright (March 22, 2010).

She entered game one with just one out in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and the tying run at the plate. The pitcher struck out the first batter she faced and then forced a groundout to win the game and earn the save fifth save of her career (tied second most in UTEP history).

Game two, Wright threw a complete-game shutout of the Owls with two strikeouts, which was the second such game of her career. In the series sweep-clinching game of the series she entered the contest down 4-0, but shut down the FAU offense, allowing the offense to come back to win the game.

The Orange and Blue (7-11, C-USA) is now seventh in the C-USA standings with two weekends of play remaining. The top eight schools will reach the C-USA Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Miners will go to UTSA (6-12, C-USA) this weekend, and then will host FIU (4-13, C-USA) to end the regular season.

UTEP Golf to Compete at C-USA Championships Starting Monday

The UTEP men’s golf team is set to compete at the 2019 Conference USA Championship April 22-25 at the Texarkana Country Club (Par 72/6,969 yards).

The Miners will compete against 12 other programs for a bid to the NCAA Regionals May 13-15. Tee time pairings are based off the latest Golfstat national rankings. No. 130 UTEP will begin to tee off at 10:20 a.m. MT at hole no. 1 alongside no. 110 Charlotte and no. 121 Middle Tennessee.

The Blue Raiders will defend their 2018 title, while the Miners won the C-USA Tournament in 2017.

Before looking for its second title in three years, UTEP Head Coach Scott Lieberwirth explains the process before having visions of victory.

“All we can focus on right now is getting into match play,” Lieberwirth said. “Our conference is unique in the top four teams, after 54 holes, advance to match play. We can’t get too long term as far as what we want to accomplish out there. Of course, we want to win, but before we get there, we have to qualify for match play.”

Making the trip for Lieberwirth will be junior Eduardo Gonzalez (tees off at 10:20 a.m. MT), seniors Settavut Paradee (10:30 a.m.) and Ben Getman (10:40 a.m.), sophomore Oskar Ambrosius (10:50 a.m.) and senior Aaron Terrazas (11 a.m.). Sophomore Santiago Castilla will also make the trip as a substitute. C-USA is allowing a sub for the first time in championship play.

“There’s no question in my mind, it’s possible [won win the C-USA Tournament] the way Aaron and Oskar have played. They’ve competed great pretty much all year long,” Lieberwirth said. “Both of them, back-and-forth, have been our no. 1 and no. 2 player virtually the entire year. We’re at a point where we need some depth. Our depth at three, four and five, and our sub, we at least need some consistency. When we’ve been consistent in the backend of our lineup, we’ve played really well. We’ve contended for a couple different wins in the fall and spring. When they’re inconsistent, we’ve obviously struggled. That’s our key and we know it. We know exactly what the recipe is to compete well.”

Terrazas leads the squad with a 72.1 stroke average, while Ambrosius has penciled in a 72.5. Paradee is ranked third on the team with a 74.6 stroke average. Gonzalez has tallied a 74.7 stroke average, while Getman has fashioned a 75.4. The Miners won the Pepsi-Cola Classic on Oct. 21, while finishing in the top five in three other events during the course of the campaign.

Rounding out the remainder of the field will be no. 77 UAB and no. 85 UTSA teeing off at 9 a.m. MT at hole no. 1; no. 87 WKU and no. 94 North Texas will tee off at 9:40 a.m. MT at hole no. 1. No. 150 LA Tech, no. 152 Southern Miss and no. 162 Florida Atlantic will start at 9 a.m. MT at hole no. 10, while no. 168 Rice, no. 200 Old Dominion and no. 207 Marshall will go at 9:50 a.m. MT at hole no. 10.

The championship is four days, with 18 holes scheduled for the first three days. After the 54 holes of stroke play, the top four teams would be seeded and will conclude the championship on the fourth day with a match play playoff.

Playing partners for the first day will be determined by a blind draw. For every succeeding round, team scores will determine pairings. The winner gains the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.

Miners Storm Back To Complete Sweep Of FAU

The UTEP softball team (14-29, 7-11 Conference USA) completed its first series sweep of Florida Atlantic (18-26, 5-13 C-USA) in program history with a 6-4 win on Saturday afternoon at The Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

“I loved the fight today, going down 4-0 a lot of teams would hang their heads. That is kind of what we have done in the past, but we didn’t do that today,” Coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “They just know it’s super important, and every game matters. You’re never out of it in this game, anything can happen and they just continue to fight. Kasey Flores had a key hit. Maybe she didn’t have the best weekend but when it counted she had a great at-bat, did what we needed and just got the ball rolling for us in that inning.”

Cortney Smith tallied three hits, three RBIs and posted her 11th home run of the season. Kasey Flores produced two doubles and a clutch two RBIs for the Orange and Blue.

Julia Wright registered her second victory of the weekend, throwing 4.0 innings and giving up no walks. She threw 11.0 innings, allowing zero runs during her two outings.

FAU scored four runs in the first three innings, putting the Miners’ hopes of a series sweep in jeopardy with a 4-0 lead.

However, with two outs in the bottom of the third frame Duffield recorded a single to extend the inning. Smith walked to the plate with bad intentions, and locked in her 11th bomb of the year on the second pitch she saw. UTEP had closed the gap to 4-2 entering the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth frame, the Orange and Blue showed discipline at the plate, drawing two walks and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Flores stepped up in a big way with two outs against her. The freshman smacked a double down the leftfield line, scoring two runs and tying the game at 4-4.

The Miners weren’t done yet, as they scored another run off of an error by the Owls. Then Duffield capped off the offensive explosion with a single to score Flores, making the score 6-4 in UTEP’s favor.

Wright entered the game in relief for the second time this weekend in the fourth inning.

The senior retired the final seven batters of the game, and forced the Owls to go three up and three down to end the ball game. Wright locked down the FAU offense, surrendering no runs and earning the victory to secure the series sweep.

On deck, UTEP will travel to UTSA (6-12 C-USA) for its final conference road series of the season (April 27-28).


>> The Miners sweep FAU for the first time in program history

>> UTEP is now in sole possession of seventh place in the C-USA standings

>> Duffield has now reached base in 39 of the Miners’ 43 games this season

2019 COURI Spring Symposium Pushes Culture of Undergraduate Research Forward

Evelyn Tovanche, a senior biomedical sciences major in The University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Science, said her research experience in the summer of 2018 was life changing.

Tovanche was among the dozens of UTEP students who publicly presented their research projects April 13 during the 2019 Campus Office of Undergraduate Research Initiatives (COURI) Spring Symposium. The projects showcasing art, philosophy, science and engineering research were on display in the lobby of the Undergraduate Learning Center.

“I was in Costa Rica for eight weeks. I actually lived with a host family for two months,” Tovanche said of her summer 2018 experience. “I really, really enjoyed it, especially being in a different environment where I was able to adapt. It was very rewarding.”

The ninth edition of the symposium featured more than 160 projects prepared by teams and individual students. Organizers said the level of participation is a testament to the growth of the culture of undergraduate research at UTEP.

“We’ve always had high-quality students and high-quality mentoring,” said Lourdes Echegoyen, Ph.D., COURI director. “But I think that undergraduate research here has grown so much that students are now helping each other along the way as they prepare for the symposia. “

It’s an example, Echegoyen said, of a culture that’s evolving in real time.

“Those students who have participated in the symposia before are actively helping those who are doing it for the first time, and you see the quality come through in their work. It’s impressive.”

COURI seeks to enrich the undergraduate experience of students by facilitating, enhancing and showcasing their research training. The goal of the office is to prepare students to become leaders in their fields of study.

One student who has taken advantage of these opportunities multiple times is Caleb Tullius, a senior music education major. This year, he presented a project that looked into the effects of the rules that govern the selection of music that can be played during musical competitions at public schools in Texas. His study of the University Interscholastic League’s Prescribed Music List (PML) uncovered several clearly defined trends.

“All the composers are of European descent; almost all of them are male,” Tullius said. “It’s sad, especially now that we’re in a much more progressive era of human history, that that’s not changing.”

Tullius said the essential problem with this state of affairs is that, whether the effect is intended or not, the music in the PML has the power to shape curriculums and what’s perceived as “good” music in public school classrooms.

While this type of thought-provoking research was unquestionably the main focus at the 2019 Spring Symposium, the event also offered students a glimpse into the future. Graduate school recruiters from institutions like the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Michigan, the University of Notre Dame and the University of Pennsylvania were on hand, looking to entice many of UTEP’s most talented undergrads into joining their programs.

And like every COURI symposium, the 2019 Spring Symposium was also a competition.

But even for those students who did not earn a special recognition, the research experience offered by COURI always has the potential to be a significant milestone in their education.

“Go knock on every door that you can to have this opportunity because it’s amazing,” said Tovanche, the student who spent last summer in Costa Rica. “Not only do you get experience doing research, but it also opens a lot of doors, you get to meet a lot of people, and it really broadens the way you think.”

To learn more about COURI, visit

Spring 2019 COURI Winners

Arts & Humanities
Best Poster Presentation: Raul Medellin (Mentor: Chris Reyman, Ph.D.)

Engineering, Computational and Applied Sciences
Best Poster Presentation: Ibrahim Salama (Mentor: Suman Sirimulla, Ph.D.)
Honorable Mention: Angelica Marquez (Mentor: Ming-Ying Leung, Ph.D.)

Life Sciences
Best Poster Presentation: Georgina Diaz-Escandon (Mentor: Sukla Roychowdhury, Ph.D.)
Honorable Mentions: Seham Azzam (Mentor: Laura Diaz-Martinez, Ph.D.); Nina Beltran (Mentor: Katherine Serafine, Ph.D.)

Physical Sciences
Best Poster Presentation: Miranda Govea (Mentor: Diane Doser, Ph.D.)
Honorable Mention: Carlos Neira (Mentor: Juan Noveron, Ph.D.)

Social Sciences
Best Poster Presentation: Rubi Gonzales (Mentor: Michael Zarate)
Honorable Mention: Lourdes Perez (Mentor: Eva Moya, Ph.D.)

Author:  Victor H. Arreola – UTEP Communications

Miners Take Two Friday, Win Series Against Owls

The UTEP softball team (13-29, 6-11 Conference USA) defeated Florida Atlantic (18-24, 5-12 C-USA), 9-5 and 8-0 [6], on Friday evening at Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

UTEP amassed eight runs during the fourth frame in game one and followed with a three-run sixth during the second contest. The Miners, in the process, recorded their first ever run-rule victory over Florida Atlantic.

“Two great wins. I think our hitters did a good job of putting pressure on them, and making them make mistakes. Julia (Wright) did a great job with their hitters this second game. I know Kira (McKechnie) maybe didn’t have her best stuff, but she battled all day, and it was nice for Julia to come in that first game and get the save,” Coach Tobin Echo-Hawks said. “I know that this team is determined, and they know what we need to do in order to make it to the conference tournament. They are really invested, and are putting everything they have into it.”

The Miners also forced seven errors as the Owls committed three during the first contest and four more in the night game.

The day-one sweep secured the first ever series victory against the Owls in program history. The nine runs during game one are also the most UTEP has ever produced against FAU.

Pamala Baber went 3-4 on the day, with three RBIs, two doubles and a .875 on-base percentage. Linda Garcia totaled four hits and three RBIs in the two victories. Pate Cathey also tallied four hits, along with two RBIs. Kacey Duffield has now reached base in 38 games this year, and also recorded her 10th bomb of the season.

Julia Wright recorded a complete-game shutout in game two, and the first save of the season in game one.

The Miners have now leap frogged FAU in the conference standings, and are tied with UTSA, which dropped two to North Texas Friday afternoon. UTEP is tied for seventh in the C-USA standings heading into Sunday’s series finale.

Game One

UTEP exploded for eight runs in the fourth inning to defeat FAU in game one of the series, 9-5.

Garcia and Cathey put on a clinic at the plate with three hits each and three RBIs total between the pair of sluggers. Baber also notched two RBIs on the day behind two hits.

McKechnie threw 6.1 innings with six strikeouts in the victory. Wright entered in relief and recorded the first save of the season for the Miners.

The Owls took an early 3-0 lead behind four hits during the second inning.

The Miners would respond when Ariana Valles and Baber both were hit by pitches to lead off the bottom half of the frame. Both runners advanced on a passed ball followed by Garcia knocking in Valles on a single, cutting into the deficit, 3-1.

McKechnie held down the fort for the Miner defense through four innings. She didn’t allow any more runs and gave the UTEP offense a chance to catch up.

The wait was over in the bottom of the fourth. The Miners offense exploded for eight runs in the inning. Florida Atlantic committed three errors and UTEP recorded six hits, including two by Garcia. The Orange and Blue gave itself a comfortable 9-3 advantage.

FAU made things interesting with a two-run homer by Mia Olson to cut the deficit to 9-5 in the top of the fifth.

The Miners would load the bases in the bottom of the sixth, attempting to add run support. However, they could not add any more runs to the board.

In the top of the seventh frame, the Owls loaded the bases with the tying run at the plate and two outs. Wright entered the game with one out to relieve McKechnie, and promptly locked in the two outs necessary to win the game for the Miners. Wright struck out Lauren Whitt and forced a Maya Amm groundout to end the contest. Wright earned her fifth career save, tying for second most on the program’s all-time list.

Game Two

UTEP smacked eight hits and benefited from four errors by FAU in game two of the doubleheader, chalking up an 8-0 [6] victory.

Wright held it down in the circle, pitching a complete-game shutout over Florida Atlantic.

The Orange and Blue was led by Duffield at the plate. The senior recorded three hits, including her 10th dinger of the year. Cathey, Smith, Baber and Garcia all registered RBIs in the game as well.

The Miners took an early 1-0 edge in the first frame. Flores drew a walk. while Duffield singled to get the offense started. An error by the Owls loaded the bases for the Miners, then Baber forced a walk with bases loaded, scoring Flores.

A sacrifice fly from Cortney Smith scored Flores that tacked on another run to extend the lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the third.

The third frame saw the Miners add two more runs to take a 4-0 lead on an error by the visitors, and an RBI single by Garcia.

Duffield blasted her 10th homer of the season in the bottom of the fifth, allowing UTEP to take a 5-0 lead and seizing complete control of the game over Florida Atlantic.

Wright only saw four batters in the top of the sixth, and set up the Miners to win the game by run-rule in the bottom half of the frame.

The bottom of the sixth was a microcosm of the day for the Owls. UTEP recorded strong hit balls through the defense, and when FAU did have an opportunity to make a play, it failed to seize the moment. The Miners scored three runs in the inning on two hits and two errors. The game winning run scored when the second baseman for the Owls over threw the catcher, securing the victory for the Miners. Ilena Santos scored the first run on a Cathey single, while Lindsey Sokoloski, who reached on a fielder’s choice, slid home on a wild pitch, and Cathey crossed the dish on a throwing error, exciting the Miner faithful.


>> First ever series win over FAU

>> Recorded the most runs scored against the Owls in program history (nine)

>> Duffield recorded her 10th homer of the year, and this is the first time she has reached double-digit homers in her UTEP career

>> Duffield has reached base in 38 of the Miners’ 42 games this season

>> Wright recorded the fifth save of her career (tied second on the all-time list with Kaitlin Fifield), and threw the second complete-game shutout of her career

On deck, UTEP will look for the series sweep tomorrow at noon against FAU.

UTEP Track and Field Closes Out First Day of Action

Torrance, Ca.-The UTEP track and Field team closed out the first day of action at MT. SAC Relays on Thursday night.

Rodgers Korir took the track in the 10,000m for the first time. The freshman won with a collegiate-best time of 30:10.60. Korir’s time currently ranks fourth in Conference USA.

Teammate Antony Kosgei also ran in the 10,000m and finished eighth overall with a time of 31:06.64.

Junior Karol Koncos finished fifth in the men’s hammer throw in a field of 22 throwers. In his fourth attempt of the night, the thrower posted his best attempt of 62.67m.

Bryan Clay Invitational

Boaz Ronoh took 12th place in the men’s 5,000m in heat five with a collegiate-best time of 14:38.58.

Tomorrow will be a full day of action for the Miner at the Bryan Clay Invitational. The men’s 4x100m relay will kick off the meet at 10 a.m. MT

For live results, click here.

UTEP Tennis Falls To FIU In Opening Round Of C-USA Championships

Freshman Kirsten Prelle defeated Maryna Veksler in straight sets at No. 1 singles but 13th-seed UTEP was tripped up by fourth-seed FIU, 4-1, in the opening round of the 2019 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Women’s Tennis Championship on Thursday.

The Miners (7-14) conclude their campaign while the Panthers (11-7) advance to challenge fifth-seed North Texas at 1 p.m. MT Friday.

Prelle capped a stellar first season with the Orange and Blue at 22-8 overall (13-5 dual), aided by winning her final five matches.

“Kirsten (Prelle) played great in singles to get the only point,” UTEP head coach Ivan Fernandez said. “I’m super proud of her. She had a great season. We competed as well as we could, but it was not enough to beat No. four seed FIU.”

The contest commenced with doubles, with FIU taking the early lead by virtue of victories at the top two spots. Basak Akbas and Kamila Umarova snuck past Prelle and Valdez, 6-3, at No. 1 doubles. Kathleen Percegona and Yvette van Oijen were upended by Sandra Bozinovic and Maria Turrillo, 6-2, at No. 2 doubles. Rine Nozaki and Erandi Martinez were trailing, 5-3, against Veksler and Paulina Bakaite at No. 3 doubles when the match went unfinished with the doubles point decided.

Prelle took center stage in singles, rolling past Veksler, 6-3, 6-3, at the No. 1 position. The other matches, however, went in favor of the Panthers. Nozaki was downed by Bakaite, 6-3, 6-2, at No. 5 singles. The senior van Oijen fell, 6-1, 6-0, against Bozinovic at No. 4 singles while Martinez was derailed, 6-1, 6-0, by Umarova at No. 2 singles.

Milena Baigorria won her first set, 6-1, against Turrillo, and trailed, 4-3, in the second when it was stopped due to the team outcome being in the books. Percegona’s match against Akbas at No. 3 singles also went unfinished. The score stood at 6-1, 5-4, in favor of Akbas when it was halted.

Tennis Match Results  UTEP vs FIU Panthers  |  4/18/2019 at Houston, TX  | (George R. Brown Tennis Center)
FIU Panthers 4, UTEP 1
Singles competition
1. Kirsten Prelle (UTEP) def. Maryna Veksler (FIU) 6-3, 6-3
2. Kamila Umarova (FIU) def. Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 6-1, 6-0
3. Basak Akbas (FIU) vs. Kathleen Percegona (UTEP) 6-1, 5-4, unfinished
4. Sandra Bozinovic (FIU) def. Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) 6-1, 6-0
5. Paulina Bakaite (FIU) def. Rine Nozaki (UTEP) 6-3, 6-2
6. Maria Turrillo (FIU) vs. Milena Baigorria (UTEP) 1-6, 4-3, unfinished

Doubles competition
1. Basak Akbas/ Kamila Umarova (FIU) def. Kirsten Prelle/Vanessa Valdez (UTEP) 6-3
2. Sandra Bozinovic/ Maria Turrillo (FIU) def. Kathleen Percegona/Yvette Van Oijen (UTEP) 6-2
3. Maryna Veksler/ Paulina Bakaite (FIU) vs. Rine Nozaki/Erandi Martinez (UTEP) 5-3, unfinished

Match Notes:
UTEP 7-14
FIU Panthers 11-7
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,2,1,5)
2019 C-USA Championship

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Flyin’ Miners Head to Bryan Clay Invitational, Mt. SAC Relays

The UTEP track and field team heads to Azusa, California, for the Bryan Clay Invitational on April 18-19.

On Thursday, Cornelius Kapel and Boaz Ronoh will represent the Orange and Blue in the men’s 5,000m. Kapel will be in heat seven, which is set to begin at 6:40 p.m. Ronoh heads into the meet with a season-best time of 15:00.39 posted at Texas Relays. This is the third time this season that he races in the 5,000m. He will run at 8 p.m. in heat five.

Linda Cheruiyot will be the lone Miner to take the track in the women’s 5,000m at 9:20 p.m.

Friday is an action packed day, starting with the men’s 4x100m relay (Kyle Farrell, Sean Bailey, Luis Baca and Shakeem Smith) scheduled at 10 a.m.

Smith will return to the track in the men’s 110m hurdles at 10:40 a.m. The junior notched a second-place finish in the 110m hurdles last week at the Texas A&M Invitational with a time of 14.45. He will also compete in the men’s 400m hurdles for the first time this season at 4:40 p.m.

Bailey will be the only Miner racing in the men’s 400m at 11:55 a.m. The transfer clocked in a season-best time of 47.31 in the 400m last week. He currently ranks eighth in Conference USA. Bailey will also take the track in the men’s 200m at 5:45 p.m.

On the field, Darius King will take the track in the men’s long jump at approximately 10 a.m. He will go on to jump in the men’s triple jump at 4 p.m. with teammate Devin Mungro.

Representing the Miners in the shot put is Benjamin Coronado and Iason Machairas who are set to begin at noon. Machairas is ranked third in the shot put in C-USA with a mark of 17.52m. Coronado rates fifth in the shot put in the league with a toss of 16.33m. Coronado will return to the field at 2 p.m. in the men’s discus.

On the women’s side, Kaylah Shepherd and Roosa Yloenen will take the field first in the women’s javelin throw at 11 a.m. Yloenen notched a collegiate-best toss in the javelin of 50.44m at the Texas A&M Invitational. She ranks first in C-USA and 23rd nationally. Shepherd is ranked fifth in the league with a mark of 42.66m recorded at the Texas State Bobcat Invitational.

On the track, Rebecca Oshinbanjo and Maribel Caicedo will compete in the 100m hurdles at 11:15 a.m. Oshinbanjo comes into the meet ranked third in C-USA with a season-best time of 13.99 posted at Texas Relays. Caicedo rates fourth in the league with an altitude time of 14.05 set at the UTEP Springtime. Both individuals will also race in the 100m, alongside Geraldy Barron, Aphiniti Crupper and Johna Diggs at 2:05 p.m.

Closing out the meet will be senior Lilian Koech in the women’s 1,500m at approximately 9:35 p.m. She currently ranks first in the league and 49th nationally in the event with a time of 4:21.84.

For live results visit, the meet’s website

SAC Relays

Miners Antony Kosgei and Rodgers Korir will kick off the meet on Thursday in the men’s 10,000m at 8 p.m. This is the first time this season that both individuals will compete in the 10,000m.

Winny Koech will be the lone Miner on the women’s side competing at MT. SAC on Thursday. She will take the track in the 10,000m at 9:15 p.m.

Karol Koncos will take the field in the men’s hammer at 11 a.m. The junior heads into the meet ranked 27th nationally with a personal-best toss of 65.59m posted at Texas Relays.

For live results please visit the Mt. SAC website.

UTEP Golf Finishes 11th at 73rd Western Intercollegiate

SANTA CRUZ, Ca. – The UTEP men’s golf team wrapped up the regular season, finishing in 11th place on the final day at the 73rd Western Intercollegiate presented by Topgolf.

The Miners (377-368-356—1101) improved their scoring each day, moving up a spot at the challenging Pasatiempo Golf Club (par 70/6,615 yards) Wednesday afternoon.

No. 16 Stanford (354-346-340—1040) shot 10-under par on the day to win the team title, while Stanford’s no. 68 Isaiah Salinda (64-68-70—202) defeated San Jose State’s Sean Yu (64-71-67—202) in a playoff. The pair played five holes before Salinda birdied hole no. 18 (par 3).

UTEP sophomore Oskar Ambrosius (70-69-72—211) finished tied for 15th after shooting 2-over par to finish 1-over. Ambrosius, despite bogeying his first two holes at 10 and 11, registered birdies at holes 13, 14 and 16 to get to 1-under.

However, he bogeyed hole 18 to finish the front nine. Ambrosius added his fourth birdy of the afternoon at no. 4.

Senior Aaron Terrazas (72-74-70—216) finished tied for 42nd after shooting even par on the day. Eduardo Gonzalez (81-74-67—222) moved up 20 spots to tie for 60th after firing a career-low 67 during the third round.

Settavut Paradee (76-75-72—223) moved up four spots to tie for 63rd, while Ben Getman (78-76-75—229) finished tied for 76th and Cole Donielson (81-83-76—240) finished in 84th place.

Up next, the Miners will compete at the Conference USA Championships April 22-25 in Texarkana, Ark., at Texarkana Country Club.

UTEP Women’s Golf Finish in Seventh Place at the C-USA Championship

FORT MYERS, Fl. – The UTEP women’s golf team wrapped up its 2018-19 season with a seventh-place finish at the 2019  Air Force Reserve Conference USA Championships on Wednesday afternoon.

“The team played to the best of their ability but came up short this week,” UTEP head coach Jere Pelletier said. “Valeria [Mendizabal] and Lily [Downs] both played well. Lily is a solid player and will go down with one of the lowest career scoring averages here at UTEP. We are really going to miss her.”

The Miners shot 892 as a team with rounds of 294, 298 and 300. UTSA captured the title shooting 10-under par 854 (282-291-281), followed by Charlotte with a 2-over par 866 (286-291-289) as runners up.

UTEP sophomore Mendizabal led the team, putting together a 2-over par 218, tying for 10th place.  Senior Downs finished tied for 15th overall, shooting 4-over par 220 (73-74-73).

Audrey Haddad earned a tie for 33rd overall with a 9-over par 225 (75-75-75). She had the only ace of the tournament on the sixth hole par-3. Crystal Wu notched a tie for 42nd overall with a 13-over par 229 (73-79-77). Taylor Stone rounded out the competition tied for 55th with a 26-over par 242 (85-79-78).

UTSA’s Ana Gonzalez took home the individual crown with a 9-under 2017 (69-67-71).

The Orange and Blue capped an exceptional season, winning four of the 10 tournaments. With Downs being the squad’s lone senior, hopes are high for 2019-20.

UTEP Student Team Ready to Compete at Drone Design Competition

For eight students in The University of Texas at El Paso’s College of Engineering, being part of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program offered by the NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR) represents the realization of lofty academic research aspirations.

But having the opportunity to showcase that aptitude on a more prominent stage takes that notion to new heights.

The octet — Kristtian Busquets, John Gamboa, Rocio Lopez Terrazas, Moises Navarro, Zack Nieto, Dania Orozco, Jacquelin Prieto and Richard Reyes — comprise the UTEP team that will compete against 10 other universities during the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s (CCDC) inaugural student UAV design competition Tuesday, April 23, and Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Sun Bowl Stadium. (See an event map of Sun Bowl Stadium.)

Organizers offered the competition challenge to more than 1,700 U.S. universities before the top 11 were selected to travel to El Paso for the finals. Each team will present its concepts and fly prototypes that address UAV technology gaps based on real-world challenges faced by Army researchers.

“I feel very grateful to be a part of this team and to be able to represent UTEP in this competition,” said Dania Orozco, a senior mechanical engineering major. “The U.S. Army selecting UTEP reflects the good job professors do in bringing assets to UTEP and that’s why we have to do a good job to back up all the professors’ hard work.”

Related: Meet the UTEP Student Team Competing at U.S. Army Drone Design Competition

To prepare for the competition, the scope of which has evolved in advance of the flight date, Orozco and her fellow undergraduates have engaged in various aspects of drone engineering that are enhanced by the individual strengths of the interdisciplinary group. Within the team there are five students from mechanical engineering, two from electrical engineering and one from industrial engineering. Together, they have conducted soldering, 3D printing, safety analysis and other tasks. As the competition date nears, the meshing of disciplines among the team has intensified out of necessity.

“In the beginning, we were pretty separate. It was ‘If you know this about your field, then you work on that,’” said Nieto, a senior mechanical engineering major. “Quickly as it got to crunch time, we realized we had to start combining our efforts. Now we have people working on circuits that have never done soldering before. So, everyone is starting to learn and work together. This is giving us a real fast and hard example of how we will have to work when we enter the industry as professionals.”

Michael McGee, Ph.D., a research associate for cSETR, has overseen the students’ work for the past several months. He said the competition offers a venue to demonstrate the quality of UTEP’s engineering students, and presents a tremendous opportunity to showcase the importance of students in the campus’ progress on critical future technology.

he faculty adviser team of Dr. Francisco Medina, Dr. Virgilio Gonzalez and Dr. Eric Smith, along with our cSETR students involved in the permanent UTEP UAV research programs, did an outstanding job of assisting this new team of accomplished engineering students as they worked to quickly advance their knowledge. This event gives the Army and other industries a closer look at the next generation of diverse, highly competent STEM professionals through a competition that challenges them to propose solutions to real technological challenges,” said McGee, who has led cSETR’s work in unmanned aerial systems since January 2018.

Those opportunities are not solely relegated to upper-level undergraduate students.

Richard Reyes is a freshman electrical engineering major. His prowess with circuits and operating the drone in the air earned him a spot on the drone team. He said he is grateful for the chance to participate in this competition and added that it will bolster his experiences in the classroom.

“I am truly blessed and very excited to have this opportunity as a freshman to participate in this huge competition held at UTEP, a top tier research university,” Reyes said. “The work is quite fun and very exciting to see results of building your own drone with a group of people that represent UTEP. This is guiding me into aspects of aeronautics. I previously planned to go to graduate school to obtain my master’s in biomedical engineering, but I still have a long way to go to decide what I want to do.”

While Reyes’ decision is a distant thought, the time for the team to perform is near. And Prieto, a senior mechanical engineering major, said they are ready to represent the campus well.

“Being able to take part in this competition shows me that there are a lot of opportunities that UTEP offers to be able to grow as engineers and have more hands-on experience on projects outside of our coursework,” she said. “The fact that the competition is being held at UTEP shows how much work all of the staff and students have put in toward the growth and mobility of our campus. UTEP will be competing against some of the top universities in this country, and this is just another opportunity to put UTEP on the map once again.”

Author:  Pablo Villa – UTEP Communications

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