POSTED: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 8:14pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 22, 2013 - 5:52pm
The UTEP track and field team is set to open the outdoor season at home on Saturday at the annual UTEP Springtime meet at Kidd Field.
The field events will begin at 10 a.m. (MT) with the women’s hammer throw and the running events are scheduled to start at 3 p.m. with the women’s 4x100m relay.
The Miners will be facing some tough opponents including the nationally ranked Texas Tech (No. 16 men and No. 17 women), University of New Mexico, NM State, West Texas A&M University, South Plains, Western Texas College, Oral Roberts, Odessa College and New Mexico Junior College.
Highlighting the men’s team is Anthony Rotich, who dominated the indoor competition posting 11 top-10 performances in the Orange and Blue. The sophomore had a stellar season qualifying for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 3,000m and 5,000m. Rotich went on to earn his third All-American honor of his career with a sixth place finish in the 5,000m clocking in a time of 13:43.52. Prior to the national meet, the Kenyan native had a phenomenal Conference USA Championship showing. The distance runner received two gold medals in the 3,000m and 5,000m and also claimed two silver finishes in the mile and the distance medley relay. The All-American was recognized by the league as the Highest Performer of the Meet and the Performer of the Meet for claiming the conference record and facility record in the 3,000m with a time of 8:06.46.
Last season, Rotich was the first freshman to cross the finish line in the 3,000m steeplechase posting a time of 8:46.01 finish sixth overall. The sophomore will be competing in the 1,500m for the first time on Saturday at 3:22 p.m.
Also proving to be a threat on the field is Texas transfer Mark Jackson. The junior registered six top-three appearances including a first place finish in the triple jump at the Texas A&M Invitational with a season best of 15.86m,which ranked him 17th in the nation this indoor season. The jumper is not just a one-event competitor; he is also successful in the long jump. Jackson earned a gold medal at the C-USA Indoor Championships with an astonishing leap of 7.54m in the long jump. The junior will be looking to continue his success in the triple jump this weekend at 4:30 p.m.
Coming back for his senior campaign is C-USA Championship Anthony Wright. The sprinter was unstoppable last season claiming four medals at the 2012 C-USA Outdoor Championships. Wright clocked in a personal-best time of 10.38 in the 100m at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships. He will kick off the running events for the Miners in the 4x100m relay at 3:10 p.m. and he will also take the track in the 100m and 200m.
On thewomen’s side, Janice Jackson continues to excel as one of the top hurdlers in program history. The junior represented the Miners at the NCAA Championship and finished 10th in the prelims with a time of 8.18 in the 60m hurdles. Previously, the hurdler shocked the competition clocking in a personal-besttime of 8.17 at the C-USA Championships and earning her the top spot in theschool recordbook.
Jackson will be looking to resume where she left off last season. The hurdler holds the second-fastest time in school history in the 100m hurdles with a personal best of 13.24 posted at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships. She will be racing in the women’s 100m hurdles at 4:20 p.m.
Returning to the track on final time will be Risper Kimaiyo, who sat out last outdoor season due to an injury. The six-time All-American is motivation to end her collegiate career on a high note after her stellar 2012 cross country season. The senior was named the 2012 C-USA Cross Country Athlete of the Year after finishing fifth at the NCAA Championship with a personal best of 19:41.0 in the 6K race. The Kenyan native became the first woman in program history to claim three straight crowns at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. Kimaiyo will compete in the 800m and 1,500m this weekend in the Orange and Blue.