file: Tobi Amusan
Eugene, Ore. – Freshman hurdler Tobi Amusan ran her fastest time of the year in arguably the biggest race of her career on Saturday at the NCAA Championships. The under-20 world leader for 2016 in the 100m hurdles dropped a time of 12.79 to take second place.
“Tobi was a midyear transfer for us and she improved meet by meet for us,” said Mika Laaksonen. “For her to peak at the national championships with this spectacular time is very impressing. I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes the next couple of years.”
The school record holder, who was the slowest qualifier in the semifinals, shaved .19 seconds off of her semifinal time to climb the leaderboard. The time was not wind legal or else it would have tied for the fastest 100m hurdle time ever ran by a woman under the age of 20. Amusan becomes the first 100m hurdler for UTEP to be named a First Team All American since Janice Jackson (2014).
Lucia Mokrasova finished the heptathlon in 13th place with a point total of 5,569. The sophomore started the day off by leaping 5.69m in the long jump for 756 points. She followed that up with a javelin heave of 38.07m (630 points) and closed out the event with an 800m run time of 2:29.19 (703 points). Mokrasova will be named a Second Team All American.
“Lucia has a lot of upside and I don’t believe this is close to the best she can do,” Laaksonen noted. “She didn’t get off to a tremendous start yesterday but turned it around in the shot put and 200m dash. I’m a little disappointed for her because she wanted to do better, but she will in the future. She is a great athlete and a great student so she has better things ahead of her.”