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37 UTEP student-athletes to graduate Saturday

37 UTEP student-athletes to graduate Saturday
MGN Online
UTEP
Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 12:23pm

Thirty-seven past and present UTEP student-athletes will graduate from the university on Saturday.

The list includes sixteen representatives from the football program, six from women’s track and field, two from women’s basketball, two from men’s track and field, two from men’s golf, two from women’s golf, two from soccer, two from softball, one from men’s basketball, one from rifle and one from volleyball.

Tori Martyn, the 2013 soccer team MVP and a Top-10 Senior at UTEP, headlines the group. Also graduating are two members of the winningest senior class in UTEP women’s basketball history, Kayla Thornton and Kelli Willingham. Thornton is the Miners’ all-time leading scorer (1,679 points) and rebounder (1,032 boards), while Willingham rates first in school annals in three pointers made (215).

Five members of the football team who will be seniors this fall -- Cooper Brock, Katrae Ford, Wesley Miller, Traun Roberson and Jerel Watkins – will all be graduating this weekend.

Biographies follow on UTEP’s May graduating class. 

UTEP Athletics May 2014 Graduates

Mike Amdall (Football)
Mike played an integral role in the UTEP offensive line over the last two seasons, including starting all 12 games as a senior. He was instrumental in Aaron Jones setting a school freshman record with 811 rushing yards in 2013. Mike is a Communications major.

Mariah Bowers (Women’s Track & Field)
Mariah registered seven top-10 performances in the 800 meters during her time with the Miners. Concluded her career with the Orange and Blue with a personal best mark in the 800 meters at the Bobcat Classic. Mariah is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Cooper Brock (Football)
Cooper will play his final season for the Miners this fall and is listed as a top backup at defensive end following spring drills. He has appeared in 14 games for UTEP. Cooper is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Emma Burman (Women’s Golf)
Emma played in 23 tournaments for UTEP over the last three years after transferring from the University of the Cumberlands. She was a three-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll and a two-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal. Emma is a Finance major.

Peter Carreon (Football)
Peter was a reserve wide receiver for the Miners the last two years after excelling at Riverside High School in El Paso. He is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Gladys Chepsat (Women’s Track & Field)
Chepsat was a member of the cross country and track and field team at UTEP. Chepsat registered a personal best in 2011 in the 5K at the Kachina Classic. She was a two-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. Gladys is a Nursing major.

Grace Chimekwene (Women’s Track & Field)
Grace was a member of the 2010 track and field team. She competed at the Conference USA Indoor Championships, where she finished sixth in the 800m. Grace is a Health Promotion major.

Justin Cordova (Football)
Justin transferred from Southeastern Oklahoma State and was a reserve defensive lineman at UTEP from 2010-12. He is a Criminal Justice major.

Brander Craighead (Football)
Brander was a starter in the UTEP offensive line over the last three years. He was selected by the Calgary Stampede with the seventh pick in the 2013 Canadian Football League Draft. Brander is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Magen Del Pino (Women’s Track & Field)
Magen concluded her career in the Orange and Blue ranking 24th in the nation in the 100m. Qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Championships in the 100 meters. Magen is a Communication major.

Emma Edin (Women’s Golf)
Emma has played in 32 tournaments for the Miners over the last four years. She picked up a pair of top-20 finishes her senior year. She was a four-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll and a three-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal. Emma is a Finance major.

Ryan Fioretti (Men’s Golf)
Ryan has participated in 16 tournaments while at UTEP. He tied for fourth place at the Price’s Give Em Five Invitational in El Paso his junior year. He was a one-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. Ryan is a Management major.

Katrae Ford (Football)
A reserve tight end with the Miners, Katrae saw his most extensive action in 2013 and collected three catches for 24 yards. He has one year of eligibility remaining this fall. Katrae is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Wayne Frazier (Football)
Wayne played in close to 20 games for the Miners during his college career, filling a backup role in the offensive line. He is a Criminal Justice major.

Solomon Gardea (Men’s Track & Field)
Solomon registered nine top-five performances including a person best in the 10,000-meter run at the 2012 Stanford Invitational. The walk-on ranked 48th in the nation in the 10,000m and garnered a spot at the 2012 NCAA West Preliminary. He was a three-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll and a one-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal. Solomon is a Mechanical Engineering major.

Jim Jones (Football)
Jim was a vital member of the receiving corps and a special teams standout over the last three years in a Miner uniform. He made 12 catches for 93 yards and 19 punt returns for 116 yards. He was also 3-for-3 passing for 112 yards with a touchdown. Jim is a Criminal Justice major.

Jordan Leslie (Football)
Jordan closed out his UTEP career rated 10th in school history with 2,015 yards receiving. He is ninth with 15 touchdowns. He was a four-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll and a one-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal. Jordan is an Electrical Engineering major.

Kenah Linger (Soccer)
Kenah was a four-year starter on defense. She started 78 of 82 games played and her 7,011 minutes played rank second all-time on the Miner career charts. She was a three-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. Kenah is a Linguistics major.

David Logston (Football)
David transferred to UTEP from Chandler Gilbert Community College and appeared in 15 games over the last two seasons as a reserve linebacker. He was a one-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. David is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Tori Martyn (Soccer)
Tori started 78 of 80 games played during her career and is sixth all time for minutes played (6701). She was a two-time (2012 & 2013) All-Conference USA performer in addition to being an NSCAA All-Region Central Team member in 2013. She was a four-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll and a four-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal. She is a 2014 UTEP Top-10 Senior. Tori is a Kinesiology major.

Wesley Miller (Football)
Wesley came to UTEP as a walk-on and has emerged as one of the most trusted members of the secondary. In 28 games, including 11 starts, he has been credited with 103 tackles and 11 pass break-ups. He was a four-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll and a four-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal. Wesley is an Economics major.

Areli Oros (Rifle)
Areli competed with the UTEP rifle team for three years, improving throughout her career. Her top score and six of her best seven readouts were fired during her senior season in 2013-14. She was a three-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. Areli is a Health Promotion major.

Devin Patterson (Football)
Devin emerged as one of UTEP’s top receivers over the last two seasons, reeling in 29 catches for 337 yards. He was a one-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. Devin is a Communication major.

David Persons (Men’s Golf)
David Persons played in 35 tournaments for the Miners from 2009-13. He was champion of the New Mexico Collegiate Cup as a senior. He was a five-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. David is a Finance major.

Laura Ramos (Softball)
Laura started multiple games as a pitcher and infielder. She tallied 17 RBI and struck out 61 batters during her career. She was a three-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. Laura is a Psychology major.

Traun Roberson (Football)
Traun has been an inspiration to all UTEP student-athletes, battling back from three knee surgeries to play in 11 of 12 games last season and record 24 tackles. He is a Communication major.

A.J. Ropati (Football)
A.J. played in every game the last two years after transferring from Los Angeles Harbor College. He tallied 83 tackles, including a career-high 11 versus NM State in 2012. A.J. is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Yolanda Suggs (Women’s Track & Field)
Yolanda ranked 37th in the nation in 2013 in the 100 meters. She went on to represent the Miners in the 100m and 200m at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships. Yolanda is a Criminal Justice major.

Tyler Tafoya (Men’s Basketball)
Tyler appeared in close to 20 games for the Miners as a walk-on after playing at El Paso High School. He continuously sparked the Miners with his contagious enthusiasm. Tyler is a Communication major.

Isaac Tauaefa (Football)
Isaac appeared in 14 games for the Miners from 2009-10 before injuries ended his career. He later was a contestant on the X Factor and made the top 10 in the boys category. Isaac is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Kayla Thornton (Women’s Basketball)
Kayla was a 2014 Honorable-Mention Associated Press All-American, a three-time All-Conference USA pick and two-time member of the league’s All-Defensive Team. She departs as a member of the most successful class in program history while owning school career standards for double-doubles (40), field goals (600) and attempts (1,387), free-throws (390) and attempts (530), points (1,679) and rebounds (1,032). She is a Criminal Justice major.

Victoria Valencia (Volleyball)
Victoria was a walk on that earned a starting spot in 2012. The libero registered 38 double-digit dig performances during her time with the Miners. She was a four-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll and a four-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal. Victoria is a Kinesiology major.

Cynthia Villastrigo (Softball)
Cynthia made 25 starts in the circle. She won seven games and struck out 59 hitters in her career. She was a one-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. Cynthia is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.

Sandra Walker (Women’s Track & Field)
Sandra was a member of the cross country and track and field teams. Sandra finished third at the UTEP Springtime in the 1,500 meters. Sandra is a Kinesiology major.

Jerel Watkins (Football)
Jerel has been a three-year starter in the offensive line for the Miners and will wrap up his career this fall. Last year he helped Aaron Jones set a school record for freshmen rushing yards with 811. He was a one-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll. Jerel is a Criminal Justice major.

Kelli Willingham (Women’s Basketball)
Kelli helped the Miners to the most successful four-year stretch in school history. She is a school record holder for career starts (117) and three-pointers made (215) while also being a member of the 1,000-point club (1,073). She was a four-time member of the Conference USA Academic Honor Roll and a four-time recipient of a C-USA Academic Medal. Kelli is a Kinesiology major.

Anthony Wright (Men’s Track & Field)
Anthony helped the men’s team secure the 2013 Conference USA team title. He was the 2012 Conference USA Champion in the 60 meters and 100 meters. Anthony is a Multidisciplinary Studies major.
 

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