SAN ANTONIO – The UTEP track and field team completed its much-anticipated 2021 season opener on the final day on Saturday afternoon at the UTSA Invitational at Park West Athletic Complex.
“Rough going for us today,” said UTEP Head Coach Mika Laaksonen. “Some of today’s performances are difficult to explain. It appears a few student-athletes lost their way a bit during this pandemic. Next week’s competitions will definitely have a strong impact to the rest of the season’s travel rosters.”
Despite the rough going, the UTEP men’s 4x400m relay capped the day with a victory. Jevaughn Powell, Sean Bailey, Joshua Hill and Chevannie Hanson clocked in a 3:07.11. The quartet of Miners’ time was one of the top performances in the NCAA’s this season. Hanson, a transfer from Iowa Western, and Hill, a redshirt freshman, made their UTEP debuts on Saturday.
“The men’s 4×400 relay was the highlight of the day for us,” Laaksonen said. “They had the NCAA second-best performance of the season against stiff competition from Baylor, Houston and Kansas State, which all are perennial powerhouses in men’s mile relay. Splits were 47.5, 45.9, 46.9 and 46.4 for Jevaughn, Sean, Joshua and Chevannie, respectively. It was the best possible way to end the meet.”
Bailey added to his extensive list of collegiate victories after the senior won the 400m dash, clocking a time of 46.44. Hanson placed third with a time of 46.84.
The UTEP women’s 4x100m relay team took gold, as Maribel Caicedo, Danae McFarlane, Chinique Brown and Oghenekaro Brume registered a time of 46.22. Brown and Brume made their collegiate debuts.
Carolyne Chepkosgei earned bronze with a time of 4:41.08 in the 1500m run.
Paulo Benavides, a transfer from Kansas of the Big 12, placed second in the pole vault (4.95m).
The Miners placed well in the men’s and women’s 1500m event. Kenneth Talavera earned silver in his first career outdoor start, clocking in a time of 3:52.21. Carolyne Chepkosgei placed third with a time of 4:41.08.
Freshman Ishmel Williams opened his collegiate career by tying for third place in the high jump with a mark of 2.06m. Emilio Rios placed fifth.
Danae McFarlane’s UTEP career got off to a solid start, as the freshman earned bronze in the 100m dash, clocking in an 11.82. She also competed in the 200m dash.
Freshman Osaze Williams’s collegiate career also got off to a good start, placing third in the 800m run with a time of 1:54.79.
In the men’s 400m hurdles, Shakeem Smith placed third (52.89).
UTEP will compete in a pair of events next weekend. The Miners will see action at the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays and Texas State’s Bobcat Invitational on March 25-27.