Miners Claim 19 Top-Five Finishes in Season Opener
The UTEP track and field teams opened the 2012 season posting 19 top-five finishes on Saturday at the Blue and Orange Opener at the Idaho Center.
“Overall I think it was a good meet,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “We had a short time to prepare but the team performed very well for the first meet.”
El Paso native Matt Dudley was the top finisher on the men’s side, taking first-place in the shot put with a mark of 16.95m (55-07.50).
“Matt is going in the right direction,” said Laaksonen. “He is improving and getting more consistent.”
In the field, newcomer Demetris Elia finished third in the men’s weight throw posting a distance of 16.25m (53-03.75). While on the women’s side freshman Taylor Gunn took second-place in the women’s shot put recording a mark of 13.32m (43-08.50). Gunn also finished fifth in the women’s weight throw, 14.22m (46-08.00).
Senior Endurance Abinuwa crossed the finish line second in the women’s 60m dash clocking in a time of 7.35, while teammate Yolanda Suggs finished third with a time of 7.56. The women’s 4x400m relay team (Janice Jackson, Jallycia Pearson, Abinuwa and Suggs) took third-place posting a time of 3:52.99.
Highlighting the women’s hurdle team was Jackson, who took bronze in the 60m hurdles recording a time of 8.66. Teammates Marine Menez and Pearson clocked in a time of 8.84 and 8.99, respectively.
Andres Estrada and Donovant Grant lead the men’s long jump finishing in third and fourth, respectively. On the women’s side Monica Lopez took second in the triple jump with a mark of 11.39m (37-04.50), while Pearson finished fourth posting a 11.24m (36-10.50).
The Miners distance team finished on top as Elkana Rotich posted a time of 4:14.29 taking second-place and Justice Chirchir crossed the finish line third with a time of 4:16.44 in the one mile run. Solomon Gardea represented UTEP in the 3000m run finishing second with a time of 10:17.86.
On the women’s side Risper Kimaiyo took fifth in the one mile run with a time of 4:56.55, while Karina Garcia finished third in the 3000m run posting a time of 10:17.86.
Wrapping up the men’s side is Suji Adeniyan and Shane Hamm in the men’s 400m dash with a time of 50.10 and 50.28, respectively.
The Miners will return to action on Friday, Jan. 20-21 for the Cherry and Silver Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M.