Miners look to defend C-USA Track & Field crown
El Paso, TX — The UTEP track and fieldteam is prepared to take on the competition at the 2014 Conference USA Outdoor Championships in Houston, Texas. The No. 46 nationally ranked men’s team looks to defend its title while the No. 49 nationally ranked women’s team works to garner its first outdoor title.
After capturing the C-USA Indoor title earlier this year, the men's team returns to Houston stronger than ever with five individuals and a relay team ranked in the top-50 nationally.
Continuing to be a threat on the track for the Miners is Anthony Rotich. The six-time All-American clocked in the fastest time in the nation in the 3,000m steeplechase with a personal-best of 8:30.54 registered at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. Rotich’s time ranks fifth in program history.
The two-time National Champion also holds national recognition in the 1,500m run with a time of 3:39.16 secured at UTEP’s own invitational. His time ranks first in C-USA and second nationally.
The Bowerman’s Watch List Candidate will take to the track in the 1,500m run at 4 p.m. (MT) and the 3,000m steeplechase at 8 p.m. on Saturday and the 5,000m run at 5:50 p.m. on Sunday.
Also highlighting the distance squad is freshman Cosmas Boit. The Conference USA Silver Medalist currently ranks second in C-USA and 45thnationally in the 1,500m run with a personal best time of 3:43.55 posted at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. The newcomer also holds the top conference spot in the mile with a time of 4:05.84 recorded at Texas Relays. Boit is set to compete in the in the 1,500m run at 4 p.m. and the 800m run at 6:20 p.m. on Saturday and the 5,000m run at 5:50 p.m. on Sunday.
Leading the men in the hurdles is Roberto Camacho. The junior-transfer holds the No. 4 spot in C-USA and the No. 38 spot nationally in the 400m hurdles with a mark of 51.37 listed at the Don Kirby Tailwind. Camacho will take to the track Saturday at 6:50 p.m. in the 400m hurdle prelims.
Returning for his final season as a Miner is NCAA Silver Medalist Mark Jackson. The Conference USA Champion ranks in the top-25 in two events. The All-American leaped his way to the top spot in C-USA and the No. 16 spot in the nation in the triple jump with a mark of 16.33m (53-7) registered at the Don Kirby Tailwind. The senior also ranks 22nd nationally in the long jump 7.70m UTEP Invitational. Jackson will kick off the meet with the long jump on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Adding strength to the field are El Paso Natives Brandon Moss and Carlos Hernandez. Moss currently ranks fifth in C-USA and 67th nationally in the long jump with a leap of 7.44m (24-5) recorded at the highly competitive Drake Relays.
Competing in the high jump Carlos Hernandez ranks fifth in the league and 59th nationally with a jump of 2.11m (6-11) declared at the Don Kirby Tailwind. The El Paso native is set to compete at Sunday at 4 p.m.
Leading the UTEP women is Janice Jackson. Last season, the All-American claimed gold in the 100m hurdles at the 2013 Conference USA Outdoor Championships with a time of 13.11. This season, the All-American as posted five first place finishes, thus far. The Conference USA Champion is first in C-USA and 10th nationally in the 100m hurdles with a personal-best of 13.01 registered at the Don Kirby Tailwind. The senior’s time holds the No. 2 spot in program history only a few seconds behind Kim Turner at 12.95. Jackson will take to the track in the 100m hurdle prelims at 4:50 p.m. on Saturday.
El Paso native Jallycia Pearson will be a well-rounded threat for the Orange and Blue as she competes in the heptathlon. The Conference USA Champion holds the No. 1 spot in Conference USA and the No. 27 spot nationally with a personal-best 5,376 points. The junior’s performance ranks second overall in school history.
On the field, Nickevea Wilson will represent the Miners in the triple jump and long jump. The junior secured gold in the triple jump at the C-USA Indoor Championships, setting a facility record of 13.13m (43-01.00).Most recently, the Jamaican native has recorded five top-five finishes. Sheranks second in league action and 13th nationally in the triple jump with aleap of 13.07m (42-8.75) registered at the UTEP Invitational.
For live results from the Championships please visit, www.flashresults.com/flashtexas.