POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 1:22pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 1:23pm
El Paso — The UTEP track and field team is ready to take on the competition at the 2013 Conference USA Outdoor Championships from May 9-12 in Houston, Texas. The No. 32 nationally ranked men’s team heads into the meet with some reinforcements.
The men’s team has turned some heads this season as they earned five consecutive C-USA Athletes of the Week honors. The Miners weren’t just recognized by the league, but also caught national attention as they were ranked 25th back-to-back weeks in the USTFCCCA national poll.
Live results of the Championship will be available at http://flashresultstexas.com/2013/cusaoutdoor13/ .
Going the Distance
• Last season, Anthony Rotich was recognized as the C-USA Freshman of the Meet for his effort on the track in the 3,000m steeplechase and 5,000m earning a silver and bronze medal, respectively.
• During the indoor season, Rotich dominated the Conference Championships, scoring a total of 30 points for the Miners. The All-American posted two first-place finishes in the 3,000m and 5,000m and recorded two silver finishes in the mile and distance medley relay.
• Rotich ran for the first time this season in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Mt. SAC Relays. The sophomore was the first collegiate runner to cross the finish line with a time of 8:37.47, which also ranks him third in the nation.
• Rotich is known for not being a one-event athlete. The distance runner finished in the top five in the 5,000m at the highly-competitive Stanford Invitational. He clocked in the ninth-best time in the nation of 13:34.84, which also is the fourth-fastest time in school history.
• Rotich is a three-time All-American earning honors in the 3,000m steeplechase (2012), indoor 5,000m (2013) and cross country (2012).
• At Drake Relays, Rotich blasted past the competition in the men’s distance medley relay. The Miners claimed the title with a time of 9:44.73.
• Rotich will be taking the track in the 3,000m steeplechase on Saturday at 9:15 p.m. (CDT). He will also be running in the 1,500m at 6:20 p.m. and 5,000m at 8:20 p.m. on Sunday.
Sprinting Out of the Block
• Abiola Onakoya returns this season ready to dominate thefield in the 400m, 200m and 4x400m relay. The junior is an integral member of the team, who has boosted the 4x400m relay as the anchor of the squad.
• Onakoya had a stellar meet at the UTEP Invitational where he registered a personal best of 20.83 in the 200m. He then went on to post the 27th-fastest time in the nation of 46.22 in the 400m.
• Onakoya heads into the Championship ranked first in Conference USA in both the 200m and 400m. Prelims for both events are scheduled for Saturday starting with the 400m at 7:05 p.m. and the 200m at 8:40 p.m.
Miners Bring Reinforcement
• The Miners have always been a force to be reckoned with but this season UTEP is bringing some reinforcements on the field. Texas transfer, Mark Jackson has conquered the jumps and proved to be a contender at the national level.
• Jackson not only claimed the title in the triple jump at Drake Relays, but also posted a personal best and the fourth-best leap in the nation of 16.19m (53-01.50). His mark ranks him first in the league in the event.
• Jackson took the gold medal at the 2013 C-USA Indoor Championship in the long jump with a season-best mark of 7.54m (24-09.00).
• Jackson will kick off the meet competing in the long jump for the first time this outdoor season at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.
• Donovant Grant has always been a consistent student-athlete, but this season the senior has proven to be a leader for the Miners. The jumper has leapt to the top, as he registered a personal-best jump of 7.53m (24-08.50) at the UTEP Invitational.
• Grant’s effort ranks him 42nd nationally and second in Conference USA in the long jump. The senior can also be a strength for the Miners in the triple jump. Grant is ranked fifth in the triple with a mark of 15.15m (49-08.50) set at the UTEP Springtime meet.
• Grant will take the field in the Orange and Blue in the high jump, long, jump and triple jump at the conference meet.
Throws Make an Impact
• Richard Olsson suffered an injury late last season during the 2012 NCAA West Preliminary Championships, which set him back. Previously the junior threw a personal best of 71.58m (234-10) in the javelin at the 2012 UTEP Springtime.
• Olsson went on to claim the bronze medal at the 2012 C-USA Outdoor Championships with a toss of 66.10m (216-10).
• Olsson has overcome major obstacles and set a new personal best of 72.53 (237-11) at the 2013 UTEP Invitational. The throwers mark also secured him the No. 10 spot in the national rankings. Olsson is looking to continue the momentum at the C-USA Championships where he will take the field at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
• Demetris Elia has also excelled this season for the Orange and Blue. The sophomore registered a personal best early in the season at the UTEP Springtime meet. Elia posted the second-best throw in the league of 61.03m (200-03) in the hammer throw.
Relay Team doesn’t Look Back
• The men’s relay team has stormed out this season and hasn’t looked back for one second. The men’s team consists of two freshman (Carnell Horn and Daniel Tarango) and two juniors (A-Shawni Mitchell and Abiola Onakoya).
• The squad made a major impact at the Texas Relays finishing fourth overall with a season-best time of 3:08.03.
• Janice Jackson is known for finishing ahead of the pack time after time. The junior most recently, took first place in the 100m hurdles at Drake Relays with a time of 13.26 (W: -1.6).
• Jackson also claimed the 100m hurdle titles at both UTEP home meets. The hurdler closed in a time of 13.11 (W: 5.8) at the Miners opening meet, which helped her earn the No. 2 spot in the C-USA rankings.
• During the indoor season, Jackson took registered four-first place finishes, including a gold medal finish at the C-USA Championships with a career-best time of 8.17 in the 60m hurdles. The junior’s time also earned her the top spot in the school recordbooks.
• Brianna McGhee has proven to be a dominating force in the 100m hurdles as a freshman. The hurdler crossed the finish line second at the UTEP Springtime with a time of 13.26 (W: 5.8). She then went on to record atime of 13.69 (W: -1.6) at Drake Relays.
• Both competitors will take the track on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in the 100m hurdles prelims.
• Returning to the women’s team one final time is senior Risper Kimaiyo. The distance runner had to sit out the 2012 outdoor season due to an injury, but Kimaiyo is back and stronger then ever.
• The All-American has been known for her effort in the 5,000m ranking nationally year after year, but the senior has proven to be a threat in the 10,000m as well. Kimaiyo ran in the 10,000m for the first time this season at the Stanford Invitational and registered the 13th-fastest time in the nation of 33:24.21.
Taking the Field
• Supporting the women’s team on the field this season is sophomore Taylor Gunn. The thrower continues to improve meet after meet. Gunn had a personal-best toss of 52.48m (172-02) in the discus posted at Drake Relays. Her mark ranks her 37th in the nation and second in Conference USA in the discus.
• In the triple jump, El Paso native Jallycia Pearson will look to continue her success. The sophomore heads into the Championship ranked fourth in the league with a leap of 12.35m (40-06.25) set at the UTEP Springtime meet.