UTEP’s Sean Bailey | Photo by Conference USA
BIRMINGHAM, Al. – UTEP track and field’s Sean Bailey (400m), Maribel Caicedo (60m hurdles), Carolyn Chepkosgei (800m) and the men’s 4x400m relay team all captured gold on the final day at the Conference USA Indoor Championships in the Birmingham CrossPlex on Sunday afternoon.
The UTEP men’s side moved up a spot from day one, placing fourth with 77 points, while the women’s side also moved up a spot, finishing in fifth place with 57 points. Charlotte (135 points) won the men’s side, while the Rice women (110 points) took first.
“Last year the men’s side finished in eighth place, so that was quite an improvement,” UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen said. “But once our freshmen get going the way they can, we should be right there with the UTSA’s and Middle Tennessee’s. The men’s 4x400m relay team got it done today. That was a good way to end the meet.”
The men’s relay team composed of James Flournoy, Bailey, Shakeem Smith and Jevaughn Powell, capped the day with a 3:12.18. Their performance gave the squad 10 points, which surged the Miners to place in front of fifth-place Rice (76.50 points) by half a point.
And speaking of the freshmen, Titus Cheruiyot had a good showing as he was named the Male Freshman of the Meet. Cheruiyot finished in second place in the 5000m on Saturday, while winning bronze in the men’s 3000m, clocking in a time of 8:13.28.
Bailey, who competed in a trio of events, recorded a personal-best 46.42 in the men’s 400m dash, while he won silver in the 200m with a personal-best 21.37.
“Last year was Sean’s first year with us, and he really had a rough conference meet. But he fought hard today,” Laaksonen said. “Those are tough events (200m, 400m, 4x400m relay) to compete in. You have to feel good to run hard in that many events. You can’t have any aches or pains.”
Caicedo clocked in a time of 8.26 in the women’s 60m hurdles during her first-place finish, while she finished fourth in the 60m dash, registering a personal-best 7.55.
Chepkosgei ran a 2:11.95 in the women’s 800m, crossing the finish line first. She also won bronze in the women’s mile, recording a time of 4:48.39.
Chantoba Bright displayed another stellar showing, as the sophomore sensation won silver in the women’s triple jump (12.94m).
Smith clocked in a 7.94, good for silver in the men’s 60m hurdles.
Benjamin Coronado finished fourth in the men’s shot put (16.23m), while Sah-Jay Stevens placed sixth (13.86m) on the women’s side.
Kenneth Talavera finished in sixth place, clocking in a personal-best 4:12.20 in the men’s mile.
Flournoy placed seventh in the men’s 200m, recording a time of 21.83.