POSTED: Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 10:58pm
UPDATED: Sunday, March 2, 2014 - 5:17pm
El Paso, TX — The UTEP men turned in balanced performances on Saturday to capture the 2014 Conference USA Indoor Track and Field title, the first indoor title since 2006.
“I am very happy with both teams,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen, who was named the C-USA Coach of the Year. “We knew what we were capable of and we went for it.”
With a final score of 123 points the Miners were declared champions early on in the meet. Going into the men’s 3,000m run, UTEP was in first with 96 points, a 28 point lead over second place, East Carolina. \
Anthony Rotich sealed the title for the Orange and Blue as he defended his crown in the 3,000m run with a time of 8:17.79. Teammate Cosmas Boit added an additional eight points to UTEP ‘s score as he claimed second with 8:18.60.
The Miners opened the full day of events with the men’s triple jump where once again Mark Jackson was victorious. The senior earned his second gold medal of the 2014 C-USA Indoor Championship with a meet record of 16.09m (52-09.50).
Jackson ended the meet with a triple crown winning the 60m dash. The All-American did not back down taking another gold medal with a personal best time of 6.70. The All-American shared Performer of the Meet honors with teammate Anthony Rotich.
Rotich also rounded out the championship with three gold medals earning gold in the 5,000m run with a time of 14:32.46. Elphas Maiyo captured second with a mark of 14:33.34.
Leading the sprinters was senior Abiola Onakoya, who placed third in the 400m run with 47.40.
The men wrapped up the championship with the 4x400m relay. The squad that consisted of Carnell Horn, Roberto Camacho, Abiola Onakoya, and James Bias claimed third with time of 3:15.46.
On the women’s side, Janice Jackson claimed two individual medals. The hurdler dominated the 60m hurdles, taking first place with a time of 8.18. Jackson would go on to place third in the 200m run with a mark of 24.09.
Florence Uwakwe also made a statement in the 400m dash as she captured the bronze with a time of 54.97. Uwakwe would go on to be named Freshman of the Meet.
On the field, Nickevea Wilson gave a personal best mark of 13.13m(43-01.00) taking first in the triple jump. The sophomore’s performance currently ranks ninth in the nation.
The 4x400m relay would end the meet on a high note as it captured first place in a close relay. The squad that consisted of Janice Jackson, Anna-Kay James, Aiyanna Stiverne, and Florence Uwakwe posted a time of 3:41.80.
The women’s team concluded the meet in fifth place with a total of 62points.