Rotich Named Track Athlete of the Year
POSTED: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 - 6:03pm
UPDATED: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 8:44am
El Paso — Anthony Rotich was named the 2013 Conference USA Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
“It’s a well deserved honor for Anthony (Rotich) to be named the C-USA Male Track Athlete of the year,” said head coach Mika Laaksonen. “He had a phenomenal outdoor season helping us win the C-USA outdoor team title and then topping it off with anindividual NCAA title in the men’s 3k steeplechase last week in Eugene, Oregon. It is always exciting to watch him in action and we can’t wait to see what he will do next year as a junior. Knowing him, he will find a way to make thisyear look subpar compared to what is coming next.”
The sophomore had a spectacular year as he topped his season earning his fourthUSTFCCCA All-American first team honors with a school record in the 3,000m steeplechase of 8:21.19, becoming C-USA’s first NCAA Champion in the event. The distance runner is UTEP’s first NCAA Men’s Champion since Mickael Hanany won the high jump in the 2008.
Prior to nationals, Rotich guided the men’s team to a C-USA title as he collected a triple crown winning the 1,5000m, 3,000m steeplechase and the 5,000m. He has proven to he a dominant force in the steeplechase and shattered the C-USA meet record with a time of 8:39.44, which earned him the Performer of the Meet award.
At the NCAA West Preliminary Meet, the sophomore finished first in his heat automatically advancing to the national meet with a time of 8:37.49 that seeded him third. Rotich was unstoppable as he posted a stellar time of 8:32.50 in the prelims at the NCAA Championships, which garnered him the top spot heading into the finals.
Rotich will be back in action in September for the cross country season representing the Miners on the course.