Miners Perform Well at UTEP Invitational


POSTED: Saturday, March 27, 2010 - 11:19pm

UPDATED: Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 10:40pm

The UTEP track and field teams opened the 2010 outdoor season with 13 Miners claiming titles at the Springtime Invitational at Kidd Field on Saturday.

With changes to the NCAA Championship qualifying regulations, the Miners’ marks will enter a national descending order list. The top 48 declared student-athletes will be accepted in one of two, east and west, Championship Preliminary Round competitions; relays will be limited to 24.

“Today was okay, going into the first meet of the season we really don’t have that many expectations but we go into it to get our feet wet and get the body and mind thinking about track again,” head coach Bob Kitchens said.

All-American Dimitrios Fylladitakis got things started for the Miners with a personal best of 68.82m (225-09) in the men’s hammer throw. Teammates Hans Eriksson and Justin Kepple gave UTEP a top-three finish with second and third with throws of 62.59m (205-04) and 48.01m (157-06).

Gladys Nwaubani, Endurance Abinuwa, Siobhian Crain and Blessing Okagbare kicked off the action on the track with a dominant performance in the women’s 400-meter relay. The foursome clocked in a time of 45.08 to take first in the event.

The men followed suit as Suji Adeniyan, Anderson Mutegi, Curtis Kock and Ronalds Arajs topped two South Plains squads with a time of 40.20. Adeniyan and Arajs claimed individual titles in the 100m and 200m. Adeniyan crossed the 100m finish line at 10.65, while Arajs took the 200m gold with a time of 21.11.

In the middle distance 800-meters, senior Aggrey Chirchir posted the day’s best time of 1:52.36. Cross country All-American Nicodemus Ng’etich began his senior campaign with a 3:56.54 in the men’s 1,500 meters for first; Justice Chirchir was second, 4:00.43.

Coming off two NCAA titles at the indoor meet, Okagbare sat out of the jumps competitions, but scored the world’s second fastest time in the 200m, 23.23, to take the gold.

The threesome of Risper Kimaiyo (4:38.67), Jepchirchir Kigen (4:39.43) and Kathya Garcia (4:39.92) gave UTEP a one-two-three finish in the 1,500 meters, while Kathya Garcia’s sister Karina Garcia took first in the 3,000 with a time of 10:31.76.

Back on the field, Amanda Apodaca and Niare Tako tied for first on the women’s long jump with leaps of 1.67m (5-05.75).

UTEP finished opening day with a clean sweep of the relays as the team of Abinuwa, Crain, Chasity Ross and Kitria Stewart timed the 1,600m relay at 3:47.55. The squad of Adeniyan, Kock, Aggrey Chirchir and Mutegi closed off competition with a time of 3:16.56 in the men’s 1,600m relay.

The Miners will travel to Austin, Texas, next week for the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.

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