POSTED: Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 11:24pm
UPDATED: Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 11:25pm
The UTEP track and field men’s team finishes second overall at the 2012 C-USA Outdoor Championships in the Tad Gormley Stadium.
On the men’s side, Houston took first place with a total of 170.5 points, followed by the Miners with 132 points. For the fourth consecutive year UCF finished first on the women’s side with 160 points. UTEP placed ninth with a total of 54 points at the championships.
“I feel disappointed that we got second place at the conference meet today,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “Before the meet started, I thought we had a good chance to beat Houston.”
Anthony Rotich earned the 2012 C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Freshman of the Year honors for his performance in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m run.
“It’s great that Anthony (Rotich) won freshman of the year,” said Laaksonen “He competed very hard this weekend and deserves the honor.”
Anthony Wright earned four medals at the C-USA Championships on Sunday. The junior took gold in the 100m and had three silver finishes in the 200m, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay. Wright helped the UTEP men’s team collect a total of 34 points.
“Anthony Wright is becoming a great conference runner for UTEP,” said Laaksonen. “The great thing is that we get to keep him one more year and I can see him becoming a team captain next year.”
Wright finished first in the men’s 100m dash at the conference championships. Wright crossed the finish line with a time of 10.51 earning his second C-USA title and his first outdoor crown.
Also participating in the men’s 100m are newcomers Dillard and Kyron Joseph posting times of 10.92 and 10.97, respectively.
In the men’s 400m dash, sophomore Abiola Onakoya had a silver medal finish with a personal-best of 46.08. Onakoya is ranked 28th in the nation for his performance at the conference meet. Teammate Curtis Kock was the second Miner to cross the finish line with a time of 47.22.
The men’s 4x100m relay team (Kristian Dillard, Curtis Kock, Onakoya and Wright) finished second in the first running event of the day clocking in a time of 40.50. East Carolina took first place with a time of 40.41.
Earning his third medal of the night was Wright in the men’s 200m dash. The Germany native recorded a time of 21.38 finishing second overall, followed by Dillard in third place posting a time of 21.48.
In the last event of the day, the men’s 4x400m relay squad took silver crossing the finish line with a time of 3:09.20. The members of the squad include Wright, Onakoya, Shane Hamm and Kock.
The distance team wrapped up the last day of competition with freshman Anthony Rotich leading the pack in the men’s 5,000m. Rotich finished third recording a time of 14:19.37. Elkana Rotich was the second Miner to cross the finish line with a season-best 14:19.37. El Paso native Solomon Gardea took eighth in the event posting a time of 14:40.44.
On the field, Richard Olsson lead the men’s team taking bronze in the javelin throw. The sophomore posted a mark of 66.10m (216-10) in the first event of the day.
El Paso native Matt Dudley finished fourth overall in the discus throw at the C-USA Championships. The senior registered a toss of 50.51m (165-08) in his second throw of the competition.
Donovant Grant took fourth place in the men’s triple jump with a leap of 14.50m (47-07.00). This was the third event that the junior competed in this weekend earning UTEP a total of 13 points at the C-USA Championships.
On the women’s side, Janice Jackson recorded the 24th-fastest time in the nation in the 100m hurdles. The sophomore clocked in a time of 13.27 earning second place at the meet.
Teammate Samantha Sharper posted two personal-best marks in the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles with times of 13.75 and 1:01.11, respectively.
The women’s 4x100m relay (Jackson, Endurance Abinuwa, Yolanda Sugggs and Magen Del Pino) finished fourth with a time of 45.26.
After suffering an injury at the beginning of the season, senior Laura Macauley took bronze in the women’s javelin throw. Macauley recorded a mark of 43.59m (143-00) in her fifth throw of the day.
Freshman Taylor Gunn earns silver at her first conference outdoor meet at UTEP. Gunn posted a mark of 48.35m (158-07) in her final throw of the day in the women’s discus throw.
The Miners will be heading to the NCAA Preliminary Round in the West Region in Austin, Texas on May 24-26.