The Miners track and field squad will travel to Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday for the annual Drake Relays.
UTEP will be facing some tough competition going against the nations top student-athletes and Olympians. The distance team will be kicking off the competition on Thursday night starting at 8:10 p.m. (CST) with the men’s 10,000m.
Senior Kathya Garcia will represent the women’s team in the 5,000m set to begin at 8:40 p.m. Garcia posted the fourth-fastest time in program history in the women’s 10,000m with a time of 34:19.26 recorded at the Stanford Invitational this season. This is the second time the senior will be running in the 5,000m this season after suffering an injury.
El Paso native Solomon Gardea, Elkana Rotich and Anthony Rotich will be participating in the men’s 5,000m. Gardea continues to impress as he clocked in a time of 14:34.98 taking third-place at Texas Relays.
On Friday the women’s 4x100m relay team will open day two starting at 8:58 a.m. followed by the men’s 4x100m relay. The men’s squad returns to action after having clocked in a time of 40.21 at the UTEP Invitational and defeating Kansas State.
Representing the Miners on the field will be sophomore Richard Olsson in the men’s javelin. Olsson is ranked 19th in the nation with a mark of 71.58m posted at the UTEP Springtime.
All-American Endurance Abinuwa clocked in the 17th-fastest time in the nation at Texas Relays recording a time of 11.41 in the 100m. The senior will be competing in the prelims on Friday joined by teammate Yolanda Suggs. Suggs crossed the finish line with a season-best of 11.66 at the UTEP Invitational.
On Saturday, UTEP will be participating in the women’s 4x800m relay, women’s 4x100m shuttle hurdle and men’s sprint medley set to begin at 8:22 a.m.
Concluding the meet for the Miners will be freshman Demetris Elia in the men’s hammer throw. The freshman in currently ranked 40th nationally with a mark of 60.32m registered at Texas Relays. This is the first time that Elias will be competing at Drake Relays.
The UTEP Track and Field team will have a week off before heading to the 2012 C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday, May 11-14 in New Orleans, La.