The UTEP track and field team will compete in the 2018 Conference USA Men’s and Women’s Championships beginning on Saturday, February 17 at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Al.
The championship events begin on Saturday at 8 a.m. MT starting with the combined events, field events will start at 1 p.m. and running events will kick off at 3 p.m.
The men’s team has captured two C-USA indoor titles (2006 and 2014) and the women’s team have three league titles (2015-17). Last year, the women’s team notched their third consecutive title edging out Rice by four points.
Competing for the Miners will be sophomore Michael Saruni in the 800m and mile run. Saruni ranks No. 1 in the nation in the 800m after clocking the second-fastest time (1:44.89) in NCAA history, just behind his distance coach Paul Ereng. Teammate Jonah Koech will compete alongside Saruni in both events and is ranked No. 3 in the nation in the mile (3:55.81). The Kenya natives will take the track on Saturday at 3:15 p.m.
Senior Asa Guevara will compete in the 400m, where he is ranked first in the league with a time of 46.68, followed by Carvellion Horn.
In the 60m hurdles, newcomers Shakeem Smith and David Rivera will take the track at 3:55 p.m. Smith ranks fourth in the league clocking in a time of 8.09.
Three Miners will race in the 3,000m and 5,000m, Antony Kosgei, Cornelius Kapel and Boaz Ronoh. The trio will start the 5,000m on Saturday at 6:55 p.m. and the 3,000m beginning at 1:50 p.m. on Sunday.
In the field events, Etamar Bhastekar ranks tied for first in the league in the pole vault with a leap of 5.20m (17-0.5). Bhastekar will compete at 3 p.m.
Darius King, Donivan Ortega and Devin Mungro will all see action in both the long jump and triple jump. The long jump will start on Saturday at 3 p.m. and the triple jump will begin on Sunday at 10 a.m.
On the women’s side, Senior Lucia Mokrasova will defend her title in the pentathlon starting on Saturday at 8:15 a.m. The Slovakia native will compete in five events in one day, which include the 60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800m. Mokrasova set the school record in the pentathlon last year at the league championships scoring 3,950 points.
Junior Lilian Koech will compete in the mile where she’s ranked first in the league with a season-best time of 4:41.03. Koech will take the track with teammate Linda Cheruiyot at 3 p.m.
A trio of newcomers, Carolyne Chepkosgei, Andrea Lucero and Destiny White will all battle in the 800m trail on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Chepkosgei clocked the fourth-fastest time in C-USA with a time of 2:11.22.
In the field events, Tyler Ragin will compete in the long jump starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by Cierra Chenault in the shot put beginning at 6 p.m.
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The meet will conclude Sunday night and will be available on ESPN3 at 1 p.m. MT.
Espn3 Video Stream Link (coming soon)