Eugene, Or. – It was a bittersweet victory for the Miners as UTEP’s freshman Emmanuel Korir captured his second NCAA title in the 800m at the historic Hayward Stadium on Friday evening.
Running in the 800m final were both freshman Michael Saruni and Korir, who were favored to finish the event No. 1 and No. 2. Korir, a bit shaken up, narrowly held onto his lead and finished the race in a time of 1:45.03. It marks his second NCAA track and field title (800m indoor and outdoor).
“It was very unfortunate that Michael went down in the 800m, it would’ve been a very exciting finish to see who would be the national champion had he not fallen,” head coach Mika Laaksonen stated. “Emmanuel should feel very fortunate, Michael would have really challenged him at the end. He [Korir] is such a talented runner this may have been his last race for us.”
Saruni, having taken a hard fall, showed great determination and strength to finish the race with a time of 2:15.56. The Kenya native still earned All-American honors for his performance.
The only female competing for the Miners on Friday was junior Lucia Mokrasova. Under difficult weather conditions, she tallied a total of 3,178 points through the first four events of the women’s heptathlon.
She started the day off with a time of 14.49 in the 100m hurdles for 910 points. She followed that up by clearing 1.54m in the high jump accumulating 666 points. Her best event was undoubtedly the shot put. The Slovakia native heaved the ball out to 13.36m (43-10) garnering 751 points; the throw was the enough to place her first in the 24-athlete field.
She closed out the night with a time of 25.93 for 851 points in the 200m.
Saturday will feature the women’s final day of competition with sophomore sensation Tobi Amusan running in the 100m hurdle final for the second time in her career. Amusan qualified with the fastest time of 12.79. The Nigerian native will take the track at 5:10 p.m. live on ESPN.
Senior Samantha Hall will make her final appearance in the Orange and Blue as she competes in the women’s discus throw. Hall comes into the competition ranked 7th among the 24-athlete field. The discus throw starts at 4:00 p.m. on ESPN3.com.
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