El Paso, TX — The UTEP men’s track and field team kicked off the 2014 indoor season ranked 22nd in the nation announced the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
As the UTEP men return a strong group of 15 veterans while adding a solid group of newcomers, the Miners are the only Conference USA to be ranked in the top 25.
Leading the Orange and Blue this season is All-American Anthony Rotich. Last season, the junior ranked fifth in the nation in the 5,000m run with a time of 13:38.58 registered at the Husky Classic.
Rotich went on to set gold medal finishes at the C-USA Championships in the 3,000m and 5,000m and two silver finishes, garnering him the league’s High Scorer of the Meet and the Performer of the Meet. The distance runner rounded out the indoor season competing in the 3,000mand 5,000m at the NCAA Championship. He clocked in a sixth place finish in the 5,000m at the national meet earning All-American honors.
On the sprints side Abiola Onakoya returns to the track after registering a season best of 43.35 in the 400m at the C-USA Championships earning him the bronze medal. Onakoya also helped the men’s 4x400m relay team post four top-five finishes during the season including a first place finish at the C-USA Championship with a time of 3:14.02.
Rounding out the men’s team is jumper Mark Jackson. The senior ranked 17th in the nation last season as he registered a personal-best mark of 15.86m (52-00.50) in the triple jump at the Texas A&M Invitational. Jackson went on to garner the crown in the long jump with a leap of 7.54m (24-09.00) at the C-USA Championships.
UTEP will begin its 2014 campaign this Saturday at the Lobo Collegiate in Albuquerque, N.M. The team will be holding practice at 11 a.m. this week and at 3 p.m. starting next week.