• November 28, 2020
 Thirty-Three UTEP Student Athletes set to graduate

Photo courtesy UTEP

Thirty-Three UTEP Student Athletes set to graduate

Thirty-three current and former student-athletes will graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso this weekend.

The Miner football program leads the way with seven graduates, followed by softball and women’s track & field (six each), and soccer, men’s track & field and volleyball (three each).  The men’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s golf, rifle and tennis programs have one graduate apiece.

The graduation list includes representatives from Alaska (Alan Busey & Kacey Duffield), The Bahamas (Dreshanae Rolle), Barbados (Kyle Farrell), Canada (Niki Cebak, Ashley Grzebeniak, Payton Ross & Julia Wright), Kenya (Linda Cheruiyot & Winny Koech), Mexico (Aaron Terrazas), The Netherlands (Yvette van Oijen), Nigeria (Rebecca Oshinbanjo) and the United Kingdom (Lily Downs).

Also graduating are El Paso natives Briana Arellano, Markos Lujan, Isaiah Rhyanes and David Rivera.

Cheruiyot and Koech are past recipients of the Conference USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year Award.  Duffield was a first team All-Conference USA honoree for UTEP Softball.  Downs and Terrazas are two of the most decorated performers in UTEP women’s and men’s golf history, respectively.  Soccer’s Alyssa Palacios and Ross are school record-holders.

Twenty-six of the 33 graduates have earned placement on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll (minimum 3.0 grade point average) during their college careers.

Thirteen have been recipients of C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medals (minimum 3.75 GPA) including softball’s Mariah Ellis, soccer’s Kori Lewis and track & field’s Austin Ondijo, who have each been awarded three academic medals during their time at UTEP.

December 2019 UTEP Student-Athlete Graduates

Briana Arellano (Volleyball) – El Paso, Texas

Recorded 418 kills and 619 digs in her career … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … two-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … was awarded the C-USA Spirit of Service Award for her efforts in the El Paso community … Biology major.

Alan Busey (Football) – Anchorage, Alaska

Played in 23 games for the Miners … had 23 catches for 298 yards and a touchdown …  one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Niki Cebak (Volleyball) – Airdrie, Alberta, Canada

Recorded 449 digs and 39 service aces in her career … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Criminal Justice major.

Cierra Chenault (Track & Field) – Alamogordo, N.M.

Placed fourth in the hammer throw and fifth in the high jump at the 2019 Springtime meet … tossed a season-high 12.42m in the shot put at the 2019 C-USA Championships … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Political Science major.

Linda Cheruiyot (Track & Field) – Metkei, Kenya

Named the 2018 Conference USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year … appointed to the 2018 All-C-USA first team … claimed the individual title at the 2018 C-USA Cross Country Championships … part of the Miners’ 2018 C-USA Championship team … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Kinesiology major.

 

Camryn Curtis-Dozier (Football) – Houston, Texas

Played two seasons at Benedictine Junior College before bolstering the depth in the Miners’ receiving corps … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Mechanical Engineering major.

Lily Downs (Women’s Golf) –Kirklevington, Yarm, United Kingdom

Three-time MVP for the Miner women’s golf team … third team All-Conference USA as a senior … posted 18 top-10 finishes in her career with a championship at the Lady Red Wolf Classic her sophomore year … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Entrepreneurship major.

Kacey Duffield (Softball) – Fairbanks, Alaska

Registered the fifth best slugging percentage in a career at UTEP, and the third-highest fielding percentage in a season during her senior year … named first team All-Conference USA as a senior … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … two-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Mariah Ellis (Softball) – Los Angeles, Calif.

Recorded 22 hits and 19 RBI in her two seasons with UTEP Softball … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … three-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Digital Media Production major.

Kyle Farrell (Track & Field) – Bridgetown, Barbados

Finished in second place in the 200m at the Texas A&M Triangular … member of the 4x100m relay that took third at the Don Kirby Tailwind … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … two-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Madison Gibson (Track & Field) – Pflugerville, Texas

Posted a pair of first-place finishes at the Don Kirby Tailwind in the 400m and 4×100 relay … captured gold in the 4×100 relay at the 2017 C-USA Championships … member of the Miners’ first C-USA Outdoor Championship team in 2017 … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Biology major.

 

Ashley Grzebeniak (Volleyball) – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Amassed over 290 kills and 480 digs in her career … produced 60 blocks and 22 service aces … four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Kinesiology major.

Ruben Guerra (Football) – Bakersfield, Calif.

Saw action in 25 games for the Miners on the offensive line, while making 20 starts over a four-year span … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Management major.

Bijan Hosseini (Football) – Upland, Calif.

Saw action in 18 games for the Miners on the offensive line, while making six starts over the course of three seasons … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Brandon Jones (Football) – Bakersfield, Calif.

Battled through injuries to play in 12 games in his two seasons as a Miner, while starting six games at quarterback … was 89-of-172 passing with 1,301 yards and six touchdowns … also had three rushing touchdowns in his career … led the Miners to a season-opening victory over Houston Baptist in 2019 … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

 

Winny Koech (Track & Field) – Iten, Kenya

Member of UTEP’s 2018 C-USA Cross Country Championship team … named a 2017 first team All-American … honored as the 2016 C-USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year … three-time All-C-USA first team honoree … 2016 C-USA Cross Country individual champion … 2016 C-USA Cross Country Freshman of the Meet … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Criminal Justice major.

Kori Lewis (Soccer) – Avondale, Ariz.

Four-year starter on defense … played in 67 career games, including 64 starts, and helped the team qualify for the 2019 C-USA Championships … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … three-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Accounting major.

Markos Lujan (Football) – El Paso, Texas

Played in 21 games on the offensive line over the course of his UTEP career … made a total of 12 starts, including 11 games during the 2018 season … Kinesiology major.

Kira McKechnie (Softball) – Sacramento, Calif.

Held opponents to the second-lowest batting average (.239) in UTEP history in 2019 … contributed to UTEP Softball’s sixth no-hitter in 2018 … amassed over 180 strikeouts in the circle … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Austin Ondijo (Track & Field) – Mansfield, Texas

Earned a fifth-place finish in the high jump at the 2019 New Mexico Classic indoors … claimed second place in the high jump at the 2019 UTEP Springtime … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … three-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Forensic Science major.

 

Rebecca Oshinbanjo (Track & Field) – Lagos, Nigeria

Named third-team All-C-USA in the 60m hurdles in 2017 … finished fifth in the 60m hurdles at the 2019 C-USA Indoor Championships … member of the Miners’ 2017 Outdoor C-USA Championship team, the first in program history .. four-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Economics major.

Alyssa Palacios (Soccer) – Carrollton, Texas

Four-year starter who set the school record for career shutouts (21) while ranking second in save percentage (.825) and total saves (406) and third in GK wins (37) … All-Conference honoree in 2016 … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Isaiah Rhyanes (Men’s Basketball) – El Paso, Texas

Fan favorite who threw down a thunderous dunk for his first collegiate points against Eastern New Mexico on Nov. 15 … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

David Rivera (Track & Field) – El Paso, Texas

Registered a personal-best time (1:00.62) in the 400m hurdles at the 2019 Texas A&M Invitational … competed at four events in the 110m hurdles during the 2019 outdoor season … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … two-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Biology major.

 

Dreshanae Rolle (Track & Field) – Nassau, Bahamas

Member of the Miners’ first Outdoor C-USA Championship team in 2017 … named second team All-C-USA in the 400m outdoors in 2018 … opened the 2018 outdoor season by winning the 4x400m relay at the UTEP Springtime meet … posted a personal best in the 400m hurdles at the 2019 NCAA West Preliminaries … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Payton Ross (Soccer) – Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

Four-year starter on defense who set the school record for career minutes played (7425) by a Miner field player … started every game (80) of her playing career … three-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Kinesiology major.

Mara Rouse (Rifle) – Oak Harbor, Wash.

Averaging an 1140 aggregate, with career highs of 579 in smallbore and 591 in air rifle … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Psychology major.

 

Cortney Smith (Softball) – Moreno Valley, Calif.

Hit the fourth-most homers in program history with 31, including 14 during her senior season … had the second-most assists in a career by a Miner, and fielded the third-most double plays in UTEP history … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Health Promotion major.

Jamar Smith (Football) – Lyons, Ga.

Saw action in every game at linebacker during his two seasons as a Miner, while also making 11 starts on defense … recorded 114 tackles (59 solo), 7.5 tackles for losses (17 yards) and a pair of forced fumbles … added a fumble recovery, two passes defended and an interception … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Lindsey Sokoloski (Softball) – Magnolia, Texas

Ranked No. 1 in the nation in 2017 as the toughest player to strike out, fanning just once in 136 at bats … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Aaron Terrazas (Men’s Golf) – Mexico City, Mexico

2017 All-Conference USA First Team selection … 2019 All-Conference USA Second Team choice … played in 30 tournaments for the Miners in three seasons … posted a 72.1 scoring average over 88 rounds, including a career-low 65 as a senior … shot a career-best 15-under-par with a three-round total of 201 in his final season … achieved nine top-10 finishes overall … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Yvette van Oijen (Tennis) – Nijmegen, Netherlands

Recorded a combined 20 victories, including clinching UTEP’s first C-USA win in three years versus UTSA during the 2019 season … one-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Graduating with a Masters in Communication.

Julia Wright (Softball) – Langley, British Columbia, Canada

The fifth-winningest pitcher in UTEP history with 18 victories, while ranking second in saves with five … two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … one-time recipient of a Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal … Multidisciplinary Studies major.

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