UTEP Captures 11 Medals on Final Day at the 2022 C-USA ITF Championships Sunday
2022 CUSA Indoor Track and Field Championships - 2/20/22 - Birmingham Crossplex, Birmingham, Alabama

UTEP Captures 11 Medals on Final Day at the 2022 C-USA ITF Championships Sunday

UTEP took home a trio of gold medals as distance runner Kenneth Talavera headlined the day with a pair of first-place finishes, and sprinter/hurdler Maribel Caicedo was also the best in her event at the 2022 Conference USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in the Birmingham Crossplex on Sunday afternoon.

After medaling twice on Saturday, the Miners tallied 13 total medals at the championships.

Talavera opened the final day of competition by capturing gold in the men’s mile run, clocking in a personal-best 4:06.81. He’s the first Miner since 2018 to win the event. The Juarez, Mexico, product followed with another stellar performance, this time in the 800-meter run, clocking in at 1:53.37 and crossing the finish line first with open arms.

Caicedo won her second career gold medal in the women’s 60-meter hurdles, turning in a time of 8.36. She also won the 2020 championship race.

Carolyne Chepkosgei also captured multiple medals. The senior took silver in the women’s mile (4:52.52), while earning her second silver medal in the 800-meter run (2:09.13).

Freshman Jordani Woodley won silver in the men’s 60-meter hurdles, turning in a time of 7.86.

Fellow freshman Krishna Jayasankar also took silver, hurling a personal-best 15.00m (49-2.5) mark in the women’s shot put.

Jevaughn Powell, performing in his second C-USA Indoor Championships, took silver in the men’s 400-meter dash, clocking in a 47.36.

The men’s 4×400-meter relay team won silver to conclude the day. The team made up of Ronaldo Griffiths, Woodley, Stephen Carreto and Powell clocked in a season-best 3:14.65. Woodley and Powell also ended up with multiple medals on Sunday.

Karoline Daland placed third in the women’s 3000-meter run, as the indoor junior clocked in a personal-best 9:34.95 for bronze.

Also capturing bronze, this time in the men’s 3000-meter run, was Victor Kibiego. The freshman recorded a personal-best 8:10.74.

“The women finished tied for fifth place today with the point total that was somewhat expected after yesterday. The top two teams were out of reach for us regardless of how perfect of a day we would have had. The men’s squad finished fourth, only three points away from second place Charlotte, which dominated that side again and ran away with a title,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. “We got to get people that we brought here to make a difference in shape and healthy. Both teams also need to be mentally tougher at this event to find more success here. We have enough young talent within the team and those student-athletes will have to lead the way for this to turn better in a hurry. Both teams will have to work very hard to close the gap between us and the top teams at the conference by the time the outdoor championships get here.”

Charlotte won the men’s team title with 155.5 points, while Middle Tennessee (94 points) and UTSA (91.5) rounded out the top three. UTEP finished fourth with 91 points.

Southern Miss won on the women’s side with 101 points. Middle Tennessee (91 points) and UTSA (84) rounded out the top three. The UTEP women tied for fifth with Rice (69 points).

Other notable UTEP performances came from freshman Loubna Benhadja, who ran a personal-best 55.06 in the women’s 400-meter dash to finish fourth. She smashed her previous mark of 55.69. Michael Sims also set a PR, clocking in a 4:11.98 in the men’s mile. It beat his previous mark of 4:15.83 during Saturday’s prelims.

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