The UTEP track and field team completed competition at a pair of meets in California and strung together a quartet of first-place finishes and four second-place showings at the Bryan Clay Invitational hosted by Azusa Pacific (April 13-15) at Cougar Stadium in Azusa late Friday night.
The Miners also took part in the 62nd Annual Mt. SAC Relays at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut.
Loubna Benhadja won her second consecutive 400-meter hurdles after turning in a personal-best 58.51. She ranks second in Conference USA. Benhadja took first place at last weekend’s race at the Sun Angel Classic.
Kenneth Talavera won his second straight 1500-meter race, clocking in a personal-best 3:45.16. His previous best was 3:49.18. His time tops current C-USA leader Paul Arredondo’s 3:48.20. Talavera won the 1500 at the Sun Angel last weekend.
Dennis Johnson clocked in a personal-best 10.37 (1.2) on his way to a victory in the men’s 100-meter dash. His previous best was 10.58 (1.2). It’s also Johnson’s first win in the event since April 22, 2021 at the Don Kirby Tailwind Open.
Teammate Karon Dean finished in second place in the 100, clocking in a 10.51 (1.2). Dean ranks sixth in C-USA with a 10.41 at the Sun Angel Classic.
Jevaughn Powell also carried success over from last weekend, winning his second straight 400-meter dash with a time of 46.56. Powell took last weekend’s title at the Sun Angel Classic. Powell ranks no. 1 in C-USA after last weekend performance of 46.17.
Powell was part of the 4×400-meter relay team that finished in second place. He and teammates Kevin Hewitt, Stephen Carreto and Ronaldo Griffiths clocked in a season and C-USA-best 3:11.91.
Sah-Jay Steven’s placed second in the women’s hammer throw, recording a 57.74-meter (189-5) toss. Steven’s ranks second in C-USA with her 195’-8” mark at the Sun Angel Classic.
Ned Azemia captured second in the men’s 400-meter hurdles, clocking in a season and conference-best 51.83.
Ronaldo Griffiths, who ranks third in C-USA, clocked in a personal-best 53.01 in the 400-meter hurdles. Griffiths placed eighth out of 59 competitors.
Carolyne Chepkosgei clocked in a personal-best 4:23.00 in the 1500-meter race, placing in the top 50 out of over 130 competitors. Chepkosgei’s time ranks no. 1 in C-USA. Her previous best was 4:23.52. Chepkosgei finished 23rd out of 160 competitors in the 800-meter race. She clocked in a personal-best 2:06.11. Her time surpasses Southern Miss’ Sandra Szpott conference-best 2:07.72.
Karen Villa Medina tallied 4274 points in the heptathlon. She would rank fourth in C-USA.
Maxwell Kipkosgei clocked in a personal-best 1:51.78 in the 800-meter race. His time would rank fourth in the conference standings. He came in ranking fifth (1:53.01, previous PR).
Yusuf Mohamud turned in a personal-best 1:52.56 in the men’s 800-meter run. He made a solid improvement from his previous-best 1:54.64. His time has a chance to rank top five in the conference standings.
Emilio Rios leaped a season-best 2.03 meters (6-8) in the high jump, while Jakub Belik also competed in the high jump. Both entered Friday tied for fourth in C-USA (2.02m).
Overall, the Miners claimed gold in five events. Titus Cheruiyot commenced competition with a first-place finish in the 10K with a time of 29:14.08 on Wednesday night.
Aleks Hristov finished fourth in the men’s discus finals on Friday. Hristov hurled a personal-best 57.48 meters (188-7). Hristov ranks first in C-USA. His previous best was 56.99 meters (187-0).
Daniel Bernal competed in the men’s 10K on Thursday night, clocking in a personal-best 28:53.68. His time would rank second in C-USA. His previous best was 29:17.95 while at Furman last season.
UTEP will compete at the Don Kirby Tailwind Open hosted by New Mexico on Thursday, April 21 in Albuquerque. Following that meet, the Miners will take part at the Desert Heat Classic hosted by Arizona on April 30 in Tucson. The C-USA Championships will be May 12-15 hosted by UTSA in San Antonio.